Saturday, June 25, 2011

Texas Carries Out Sixth Execution of the Year

The 23rd Execution of 2011

Milton Mathis was executed on June 21, 2011 for fatally shooting two people inside a Houston crack house in 1998, becoming the sixth death row inmate executed in Texas this year. The lethal injection was carried out shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from his defense attorneys, who argued that Mathis was mentally impaired and therefore ineligible for execution, according to the Associated Press.

Mathis, 32, was condemned for a shooting spree that killed Travis Brown III, 24, and Daniel Hibbard, 31, less than two weeks before Christmas in 1998. A 15-year-old girl, Melony Almaguer, also was shot and left paralyzed. Almaguer, seated in a wheelchair and accompanied by her husband, was among a small group of people who watched Mathis die from behind a window at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"I never meant to hurt you," Mathis, strapped to a gurney with tubing taped to his arms, told Almaguer. "You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time." Her husband stood with his hand on her shoulder and at one point brushed her face with his hand, according to the Associated Press.

Mathis thanked his friends and relatives, and asked for mercy for himself and "these people carrying out this mass slaughter." "The system has failed me," he said, reported the Associated Press. "This is what you call a miscarriage of justice. Life is not supposed to end this way ... I just ask the Lord, when I knock at the gates, you just let me in."

He yawned and gasped, then began snoring as the lethal drugs began taking effect. Nine minutes later, at 6:53 p.m., he was pronounced dead.

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