Keith Clay was executed tonight, becoming the 300th prisoner in Texas to die by lethal injection since the rogue state resumed the death penalty 20 years ago.
In a brief statement, an apologetic Clay asked God to "forgive me of every single solitary sin I have committed these 35 years I have lived upon this Earth."
As Clay lay strapped on the death gurney, he looked at three members of his victim's family, who were watching through a nearby window, and asked them for forgiveness.
"I know you have suffered a great loss and I am truly, truly sorry ... There is not a day that I have not prayed for you," he said.
Clay then turned to his mother, watching through an adjacent window. He told her he loved her and said, "The Lord is my shepherd. Let everyone know that I love them. This is not goodbye. I will see you later."
His mother smiled and flashed two thumbs up to him. He began praying softly to himself as the lethal drugs began taking effect. He gasped three times. His eyes briefly widened and rolled back before his eyes closed. Eight minutes later at 6:23 PM (Texas time) he was pronounced dead.
Clay is the 11th prisoner to die by lethal injection this year in the nation's most active execution state of the United States.Clay, 35, was condemned for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a 1994 robbery. The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to review his case and the state parole board refused to consider a clemency petition, because they say it was filed 15 days too late.
"Whatever God's will is for my life I'm going to accept," Clay said from death row last week. "I refer to my faith. Lord Jesus, he was wrongly convicted for something he didn't do and paid the price." Clay's injection keeps Texas on a pace to surpass the record 40 lethal injections carried out in 2000.
Another is scheduled for next week and three more are scheduled for April.
Texas accounts for more than one-third of the 838 executions in the United States since 1976 when the death penalty resumed under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The state of Virginia is second with 87. It took nearly 13 years for Texas to reach 100 executions, four years to get to 200 executions and now, as the appeals process has become more streamlined, just over three years to reach the 300th.
Professor Rick Halperin, President of Texas Coalition Against Death Penalty, recently described Texas as a "rogue"state with a blood lust beyond the pale. Professor Halperin has called on international nations to boycott the state of Texas. "Who wants to do business with a rogue state." Professor Halperin said.
Clay's case failed to generate the kind of attention paid last week to another prisoner who contended he was wrongly convicted of a 1980 slaying.
Clay, an acknowledged former drug dealer attracted no similar support. Sadly, self-confessed murderers receive very little help, very little sympathy and very little attention from death penalty opponents.
Opposite can be said if a prisoner cries "wolf" of being wrongly convicted."I've been praying for the victim's family, for my family," Clay said from death row. "With regard to me being here, if there's one thing I could put my finger on, it would be decisions were made that bring about consequences, whether good or bad. What you do or say not only affects your life but others as well."
by ACADP Australia Posted 1 April 03
AUSTRALIAN COALITION AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
AUSTRALIAN COALITION AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
" ... Our nation was built on a promise of life and liberty for all citizens. Guided by a deep respect for human dignity, our Founding Fathers worked to secure these rights for future generations, and today we continue to seek to fulfil their promise in our laws and our society.
Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Please note the following article carefully.....it shows clearly the hateful, uncaring and anti-human rights attitude as reflected by the Governor of Texas (and most other elected Texas officials).
Supreme Court Justice Blocks Execution
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens blocked Indiana from putting to death its oldest death row inmate Tuesday to give the 71-year-old prisoner, who is partially deaf and blind, extra time to file federal appeals.
Stephen Romei: Death knell sounds for US capital law
GEORGE RYAN, outgoing governor of the US state of Illinois a republican who leaves office today, has put US capital punishment on the road to oblivion by commuting the sentences of all 167 of the state's death row inmates. Three were re-sentenced to 40 years' jail and the remaining 164 got life without parole.
Amnesty urges Bush to shut death row
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged US President George W. Bush to take a "moral stand" and abolish the death penalty after the Illinois Governor dramatically emptied that state's death row.
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago