Thursday, August 20, 2015

Texas executed cop killer who wanted to die

The 19th Execution of 2015
Texas death row inmate Daniel Lee Lopez, who for years has affirmed his guilt for killing a Corpus Christi police lieutenant and petitioned courts to expedite his execution, was executed on August 12, 2015 after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by his lawyer, reported the Huffington Post.
Lopez, 27, was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the state's death chamber in Huntsville, according to a spokesman from theTexas Department of Criminal Justice.
Convicted in 2010 for killing Corpus Christi Lt. Stuart Alexander during a high-speed chase, Lopez was bound for execution after the court denied an appeal by attorney David Dow, the prominent anti-death penalty defense attorney representing Lopez.
Lopez's "obvious and severe mental illness" led to his desire to use the legal system for suicide, illustrating his "well-documented history of irrational behavior and suicidal tendencies," Dow told the court. Dow argued the March 2009 crime wasn't eligible for the death penalty because Lopez didn't intend to kill the officer.
Courts had previously found Lopez competent to make the decision to waive his appeals and expedite his execution.
"I've accepted my fate," Lopez told The Associated Press. "I'm just ready to move on."
It's a refrain Lopez made often. 
"I'm ready. Ain't no point in staying in here any longer. I'm in a, in a box. So I'm ready, right," Lopez told the AP in 2011.
Lopez' five-year wait on death row  was roughly half the time a typical inmate waits before execution, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
One of Lopez's final wishes was to donate his organs.
“I’ve sat here for five years thinking of all the mistakes I’ve done and how I could do my part and give back to others,” Lopez wrote in a letter to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times last week. “I’ve accidentally taken a man’s life and have thought on many occasions on how great it would be to give one or more back."
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