The 43-year-old Spanish-speaking Wesley Ruiz was the fourth death row inmate performed since the beginning of the year in the US. Ruiz, who had killed a police officer, was given a lethal injection at the Huntsville jail and pronounced dead at 6:41 p.m. (local time). “I’m ready to go,” were his last words.
In 2007 in Dallas he was chased by police, who suspected that his car had been used in a homicide. During the chase he fired once at a police officer who was attempting to break the car window with a bat. The bullet killed the policeman.
At his trial, Wesley Ruiz said he feared for his life and fired “in self-defense,” according to press reports. The jury found no mitigating circumstances for him and he was sentenced to death.
In the years that followed, his lawyers made repeated appeals challenging the conviction to no avail. As her due date approached execution they filed an emergency motion against him, arguing that jurors were biased by “overtly racist” views and relied on “stereotypes clearly hostile to Latinos” when deciding on the defendant’s “dangerousness.”
One called him an “animal”, a “mad dog”, and argued that other Spanish-speakers in the trial were “gang members”, as they argued in their appeal, APE-MPE reports, citing AFP. But the appeal was rejected in order at first instance, in the appeal and ended up in the Supreme Court.
Wesley Ruiz joined a lawsuit by Texas death row inmates who say authorities have let the chemicals they use in executions expire. They say in the lawsuit that this could cause them severe pain, which is illegal given that the US Constitution expressly prohibits “inhumane punishment.” State authorities counter that their stockpiles of pentobarbitol pose no problem.
Source: News Beast
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