Texas executes 400th person since 1976

A convicted murderer on Wednesday was put to death by lethal injection, in Texas' 400th execution since the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Texas executes 400th person since 1976
A convicted murderer on Wednesday was put to death by lethal injection, in Texas' 400th execution since the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Johnny Conner was pronounced dead at 6:20 pm (2320 GMT), eight minutes after he was injected with the lethal concoction.

"What is happening to me now is unjust and the system is broken," said the 32-year-old African American in his final statement. "Please forgive me," he said, addressing a woman among the witnesses to his execution.

"I bear witness there is no God but Allah and the Prophet Muhammed. Unto Allah, I belong, unto Allah I return. I love you," were his last words.

Since the 1976 reinstatement, Texas has accounted for more than one-third of the total 1,091 executions carried out country-wide. This year, with other states now reticent, it will account for nearly two-thirds.

Ahead of Conner's execution, the southern state had carried out 20 of the 34 US judicial killings in 2007.

By comparison, 12 of the 50 states refused to restore capital punishment in 1976; four did but have not since executed anyone; and 14 have had five or fewer executions.

Conner was sentenced to die for the May 17, 1998 shooting death of a gasoline pump grocery store owner during a holdup.

In 2005, a federal judge annulled Conner's death sentence because of shortcomings by his Defence lawyers — they failed to summon any witnesses in his favor — but the ruling was overturned by a federal appeals court in January.

Earlier this month, the European Union had urged Texas Governor Rick Perry to consider a moratorium for all executions scheduled by his state.

Perry rejected the appeal, suggesting it was out of place since the United States asserted its independence from Britain in the 18th century.

AFP

Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2007, 16:01
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