Please contact Texas Governor Rick Perry to urge him to grant a stay of execution to Mark Stroman, who is scheduled for execution Wednesday, July 20.
Rais Bhuiyan, who survived being shot in the face by Mark Stroman, is urging Perry to stop the execution. Bhuiyan has also filed a still-pending lawsuit to stop the execution. The lawsuit will be heard Wednesday morning. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has already refused to recommend clemency.
Watch a video of Rais Bhuiyan explaining why he does not want Mark Stroman executed.
Call Governor Perry at 512 463 2000.
Someone will answer the phone during office hours. If you call after office hours, you can leave a message.
You can also contact Perry by email using a form on his website, although calling on the phone may make a more immediate impact. You can also both call and email.
If you are in Austin, come to the Texas Capitol at 11th and Congress on Wednesday, July 20 at 5:30 PM to protest the scheduled execution of Mark Stroman and show your support for Rais Bhuiyan. (Facebook event page)
If you are in Dallas, there will be a silent vigil at 5:30 PM on the sidewalk in front of the Frank Crowley Court House, 133 N Riverfront St. (Facebook event page)
Stroman, 41, said he went on a shooting spree in the weeks following the 2001 attacks targeting people of Middle East descent, claiming it was a patriotic response to terrorism. Two men were killed and a third was wounded. Stroman is scheduled for lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville.
In an unusual step, the lone shooting survivor, Rais Bhuiyan, a native of Bangladesh, has asked the courts to halt the execution. In a lawsuit, he argues that his religious beliefs as a Muslim told him to forgive Stroman. He also wants to spend time with the convict to learn more about why the shootings occurred.
Juror now opposes execution of Stroman
"I made a wrong decision," said the North Texas woman, who doesn't want her last name used.
The woman was part of the Dallas County jury panel in 2002 that gave the self-proclaimed, "Arab Slayer", Mark Stroman the death penalty for a killing spree after 9/11 that left two store clerks dead.
"We should not have given him death."
Jennifer says prosecutors neglected to tell jurors that the families Stroman destroyed with his violent rampage did not support sending him to death row.
"We were under the impression that the families wanted the death penalty, so even though I didn't fully support it, I let that pressure me into the decision."
Jennifer has since learned, the sole survivor in the case, Rais Bhuiyan did not support execution for Stroman. Bhuiyan was shot in the face and blinded in one eye by Stroman. Even so, he has been waging a battle to save the killer's life and asking for a face-to-face meeting.
"I would love to give him a hug and say I never hated him," said the Bangladeshi immigrant, who is now a naturalized citizen.
The text below is from an editorial in the Dallas Morning News:
As for the question of whether Stroman should live or die, Bhuiyan has an extraordinary position on that, too: He wants his attacker’s life spared to end the cycle of hatred, violence and death and to afford Stroman the chance to rehabilitate and renounce hate.
Bhuiyan says he has the support of the families of the two men who were fatally shot, Waqar Hasan, originally of Pakistan, and Vasudev Patel, of India.
Think about it: three industrious immigrants working hard to support their families or advance their education. They are targeted by a vicious ex-con out to purify the country of outsiders. Now those hurt by this crime seek to drop the quest for retribution.
Retribution, in fact, is one element of the death penalty that the Supreme Court has cited in allowing its use. With the victims of the Stroman spree now dropping the demand for retribution — vengeance, essentially — the state is left alone in seeking it. Moral authority, though, has fallen away.
This newspaper is opposed to all capital punishment because justice will never be air tight and the punishment is irrevocable, unevenly applied and of questionable deterrent value.
Bhuiyan opposes it for far more personal reasons. It’s hard to fathom how he goes out of his way to find redeeming value in the criminal who shot him, but he says his attacker has the capacity to become an evangelist for healing.
Stroman appears to have accepted responsibility for the killings, at least in entries on a blog that supporters help him maintain. His motives and level of remorse are fair game, and people have every right and reason for skepticism.
Bhuiyan has every right and reason to meet with Stroman and judge for himself.
Rais Bhuiyan (photos below) has said this about the man who shot him in the face:
I forgave [Mark] Stroman many years ago. In fact, I have never hated him. I never hated America for what happened to me. I believe he was ignorant and not capable of distinguishing between right and wrong; otherwise, he wouldn't have done what he did.
Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Posted by Texas Moratorium Network at 11:02 AM