A man was executed this Wednesday for the murder of a police officer in the state of Texassouthern United States, despite the suspicions of racism that clouded his judgment.
Wesley Ruiza 43-year-old Hispanic American on death row, received a lethal injection at the Huntsville City Penitentiary. He was pronounced dead at 18.41 local (0.41 GMT) It is the fourth convicted person executed since the beginning of the year in the United States.
In 2007, in Dallas, Texas, Ruiz was chased by policewho suspected his vehicle was involved in a homicide.
At the end of the chase, Ruiz shot police officer Mark Nix, who was trying to break his car window with his baton.. The bullet ended up killing the agent.
During his trial, Wesley Ruiz claimed that during the police chase he feared for his life and that shot in an act of “self-defense”, according to the local press. The juries still sentenced him to the death penalty.
In subsequent years, his lawyers unsuccessfully filed various appeals to challenge the sentence.
As the execution date approached, they filed an urgent appeal, arguing that the jurors had relied on “openly racist” elements and “clearly hostile stereotypes against Hispanics” in assessing Ruiz’s dangerousness.
One of the jurors had described it as a “animal”, “a mad dogand considered that the Hispanics present at the trial were “gang members”according to court documents.
His appeal was dismissed at first instance and then sent to the Supreme Court, which did not rule last minute to stay the execution.
“I want to apologize to Mark and the Nix family (…) I want to tell my family and friends all over the world, thank you for supporting me. To my kids, stand your ground and continue to make me proud, don’t worry about me, I’m going to be fine.” he said, during his last statement.
“I’m ready to go”, Ruiz concluded, before being injected, as detailed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in a statement.
Wesley Ruiz also joined a lawsuit filed by several Texas death row inmates who They accuse the State prison services of extending the expiration dates of lethal substances used for executions, one of them known as pentobarbital.
According to the plaintiffs, there is a risk of causing unlawful suffering, since the Constitution prohibits “inhumane punishment”.
Authorities say their pentobarbital reserves are not a problem.
(With information from AFP)
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