Will A Ballot Measure Put Kristen Hughes To Death?

25 years ago and the murderer still breathes.

On a fall day in 1989, 31-year-old Kim Hickman was moving out of her Pacific Grove apartment when she was attacked and sexually assaulted by Hughes, then 28. A pathologist testified at Hughes’ trial that it took more than an hour for Hickman to die after being stabbed and strangled.

Hughes’ death sentence has been upheld by the state’s Supreme Court. But after almost 24 years, Hickman’s mother, Nan McMahan, is growing tired of waiting to see the case come to an end.

Now a proposed California ballot measure aims to speed up executions and restrict privileges for death row inmates. But even if it passes, the measure could face a slew of legal challenges and delays.

Will A Ballot Measure Put Kristen Hughes To Death?

Show Kristin Hughes Some Potential Pain

On the day the U.S. Supreme Court heard lawyers argue over the potential pain caused by the drug cocktail used in lethal injections, McMahan was thinking about the way her daughter died.

On Sept. 7, 1989, 31-year-old Kim Hickman was moving out of her Pacific Grove apartment when she was attacked and sexually assaulted by Kristin William Hughes, then 28.

At Hughes’ trial the next year, McMahan suffered through evidence showing that her “absolutely vibrant, beautiful daughter” survived 11 stabs to the chest and neck and died only after Hughes strangled her with his hands and suspenders.

Nineteen years – too long.

Show Kristin Hughes Some Potential Pain