Thursday, July 21, 2011

Texas Executes Man for 9-11 Revenge Killings

The 28th Execution of 2011

Texas executed Mark Stroman by lethal injection on July 20, 2010. He claimed the shooting spree that killed two men and injured a third targeted people of Middle Eastern descent, though all three victims were from South Asia. The killings were in revenge for the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, according to the Associated Press.

In an unusual step, surviving victim Rais Bhuiyan asked the courts to halt Stroman's execution. Bhuiyan, a native of Bangladesh and a former convenience store worker, lost the sight in one of his eyes when Stroman shot him in the face.

In a lawsuit, he argued his religious beliefs as a Muslim told him to forgive Stroman. He also said he wanted to spend time with the convict to learn more about why the shootings occurred.

"Killing him is not the solution," Bhuiyan told the Associated Press. "He's learning from his mistake. If he's given a chance, he's able to reach out to others and spread that message to others."

A federal judge in Austin rejected the suit and Bhuiyan's request for an injunction on Wednesday. His lawyers appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Justice Antonin Scalia turned it down, before the state court rejected another appeal on Bhuiyan's behalf.

“Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace,” Stroman said in his final statement, according to the Huntsville Item. “May the Lord Jesus Christ be with me. Hate is going on in this world and it has to stop. Hate causes a lifetime of pain.”

For his final meal request, Stroman received battered chicken fried steak with gravy, 12 crispy pieces of bacon, a ham and cheese omelet, fried potatoes, squash and okra. He also received three large Dr. Pepper’s and a pint of vanilla Blue Bell Ice Cream.

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