Man who killed a police officer in Texas is put to death.
A man who had received the death penalty for the murder of a police officer was murdered in Texas on Wednesday night despite claims that racism tainted his conviction.
At 6:41 p.m. local time (1241 GMT), Wesley Ruiz, 43, was declared dead following a lethal injection at the Huntsville, Texas, prison, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
In 2007, Dallas, Texas, police officers pursued Ruiz through the city’s streets because they thought his car had been involved in a homicide.
Police officer Mark Nix was trying to smash the window of his car with his baton when the chase came to an end, and Ruiz fired a shot at him. Nix died from the gunshot.
According to local media, Ruiz claimed throughout his trial that he fired in self-defense out of fear for his life. But the jury gave him the death penalty.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Ruiz’s last words were: “I would like to apologize to Mark and the Nix family. I hope this brings you closer.
“I want to say to all my family and friends around the world thank you for supporting me. To my kids, stand tall and continue to make me proud, don’t worry about me, I’m going to be OK. Alright Warden, I’m ready to ride.”
After Ruiz’s conviction, his attorneys attempted many unsuccessful appeals.
As the execution date drew near, defense attorneys contended in an urgent request that jurors’ assessments of Ruiz’s threat were based on “overtly racist” evidence and “blatantly anti-Hispanic stereotypes.”
They said in court documents that one jury had called him “an animal,” “a mad dog,” and thought the Hispanics at the trial were “gang members.”
Their case was dismissed out at trial and on appeal, and the US Supreme Court was asked to provide a last-ditch reprieve.
In a separate complaint, numerous Texas death row convicts claimed that the state’s Department of Criminal Justice had extended the expiration dates of the fatal drugs used in executions. Ruiz had joined that action as well.
Since the US Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment, they claim that employing outmoded medications runs the potential of causing unjustified pain.
The officials stated that there is no issue with their pentobarbital stocks.
Ruiz is the fourth prisoner to be executed in the United States this year after the Supreme Court declined to block the execution.