Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Condemned Texas inmate goes to death claiming innocence

The 40th Execution of 2012

Preston Hughes was executed on November 15, 2012 for fatally stabbing a teenage girl and her toddler cousin on a dirt road in southwest Texas more than two decades ago, reported the Houston Chronicle.

Hughes was convicted of the 1988 murders of La Shandra Charles, 15, and her 3-year-old cousin, Marcell Taylor. None of the victims' friends or relatives attended the execution.

Hughes was put to death about 31/2 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals filed by his attorney to postpone the punishment. The execution also was slowed by an appeal filed by Hughes to the Criminal Courts of Appeals asking that the court reconsider its earlier denial to retest DNA in the case.

Just before he received the lethal injection, Hughes turned toward his mother and sister who stood behind their mother.

"You know I'm innocent, and I love you both," Hughes, 46, said in his final statement, reported the Chronicle. "Please continue to fight for my innocence even though I'm gone." Hughes was the 15th person executed in 2012.

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