Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today Texas Carried Out 435th Execution Since 1982

Today Texas executed Luis Salazar. He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m. Salazar was the 13th person executed in Texas so far this year.

Salazar was the 196th person executed since Rick Perry assumed the office of governor of Texas in December 2000. Overall, 435 people have been executed in Texas since 1982. There were zero executions in Texas between 1964 and 1982. Virginia, with 103 executions, comes in a distant second to Texas in number of executions.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Luis Salazar thanked friends and relatives for their friendship and fellowship and expressed love to his mother, brothers, sister and his children.

“I’m going to miss them and take them with me in my heart,” he said from the death chamber gurney. “Thanks to everyone praying for me.”

Salazar never acknowledged the family of Martha Sanchez or her murder. Sanchez’s oldest child, Erick, was among the witnesses. Her mother and sisters clutched tissues in their hands as they clasped each other’s hands.

“My heart is going ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump,” Salazar said and then laughed. He asked for forgiveness and recited the Lord’s Prayer. When the drugs began taking effect, he asked for forgiveness for the “sins that I can remember.” He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m. CDT, nine minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow.

Salazar, 38, was the second condemned murderer put to death in Texas in as many nights and the 12th this year in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.

Salazar testified at his trial that after a night of marijuana, cocaine and drinking he thought he was in his own house just before dawn Oct. 11, 1997, and that Martha Sanchez, 28, and her three children were intruders.

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