Texas conducted its second execution of 2013 April 9, plans another lethal injection next month on a schedule to put 13 inmates to death before the end of the year, according to state criminal justice authorities.
The latest death sentence to be carried out was Rickey Lewis, a Black 50-year-old burglar convicted of murdering 45-year-old George Newman and raping his wife Connie during a 1990 break-in. The crime occurred shortly after Lewis had been paroled from a lengthy jail term following his third conviction for burglary.
He admitted to the rape but insisted he was not guilty of murder as the lethal injection was administered.
“I’m sorry for what happened to you,” he told Newman’s widow at the execution. “If I hadn’t raped you then you wouldn’t have lived. I didn’t kill Mr. Newman and I didn’t rob your house…. I was just there.
“I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. It wasn’t me that harmed and stole all of your stuff.”
The first execution of the year was also a Black man, Carl Blue, who was executed Feb. 21 for the 1994 death of ex-girlfriend Carmen Richards Sanders. He was convicted of pouring gasoline on Sanders and her new boyfriend after the relationship with Blue ended and lighting it. Sanders died; the other victim survived.
The next death penalty victim is likely to be Black, too.
Last-minute appeals filed by Ronnie Lee Threadgill were rejected April 3 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Threadgill was charged with capital murder, tried, and sentenced to die for the shooting death of 17-year-old Dexter McDonald outside a Navarro County, Texas nightclub in 2001 when Threadgill was 29.
If the state goes through with his execution on April 16, Threadgill will be the 494th person to be executed in the state.
The latest execution is the sixth in the U.S. this year. The U.S. carried out the same number of executions in 2012 as in 2011, but in fewer states. There were 43 executions across nine states.
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