Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Texas Carries Out First Execution Nationwide in Four Weeks

The 33rd Execution of 2011

Texas executed Steven Michael Woods who was convicted in 2002 of shooting and slashing a young Dallas-area couple under a controversial Texas law that allows a defendant to be put to death for a murder someone else committed.

Woods was given a lethal injection of drugs and pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. local time on September 13, 2011 according to Reuters. In his last words, Woods told his mother he loved her, accused the state of committing a murder, and named his co-defendant, Marcus Rhodes, who pleaded guilty to murdering the couple and is serving a life sentence.

"You're not about to witness an execution. You are about to witness a murder. I am strapped down for something Marcus Rhodes did. I never killed nobody, ever," he said. "Justice has let me down. Somebody completely screwed this up. Well, Warden, if you're going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull that trigger."

For his last meal, Woods requested bacon; a large pizza with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and hamburger; fried chicken breasts; chicken fried steak; hamburgers with bacon on French toast; garlic bread sticks; Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea; and ice cream, reported Reuters. Woods was the 10th execution in Texas this year and the 33rd in the country.

Texas law allows a jury to find a defendant guilty of murder if they were involved in the crime, even if they did not directly commit the killing, or were involved in crimes that lead to the killing, or if they should have known the crime would happen and showed a "reckless disregard" for human life.
On a Facebook page maintained by Woods' supporters, Woods said he was present for the killings but did not know the murders were going to happen and fled because he feared his co-defendant would kill him, too.

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