Texas Executes Man After 2 Decades Of Claiming Innocence | EUROtoday

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A 50-year-old man on Texas’ demise row who has maintained his innocence for greater than twenty years was executed on Wednesday, in line with a number of studies.

Ivan Cantu, who was convicted and sentenced to demise by a jury within the 2000 killing of his cousin and the cousin’s fiancée, was killed by deadly injection at 6:47 p.m. native time, in line with CNN. He repeatedly said his innocence in his ultimate phrases.

“I don’t think that this situation here will bring you closure, if it does. If this is what it takes or have any reservations off in your mind, then so be it,” Cantu stated.

Discrepancies in a key piece of testimony, the recanting of different testimony and apprehension from two jurors have solid doubt on his conviction.

“From the first day — everything was there to investigate the case and prove my innocence. But when I explained it, they didn’t believe me,” Cantu stated in an interview with Noticias Telemundo, in line with NBC News earlier this month. Both information shops are owned by NBCUniversal.

After being scheduled for an April 2023 execution, Cantu’s demise was placed on maintain by a decide who allowed Cantu and his authorized workforce time to show that the testimony and proof his conviction was based mostly on have been unreliable. Cantu was additionally beforehand scheduled for an execution in 2012.

Cantu has argued that his cousin, 27-year-old James Mosqueda, was a drug supplier indebted to a rival drug supplier who killed Mosqueda and his fiancée, Amy Kitchen.

Cantu’s former girlfriend, Amy Boettcher, and her brother, Jeff Boettcher, each testified towards him throughout the trial.

According to a petition filed by Cantu’s legal professional final yr, Amy Boettcher, who died in 2021, testified that Cantu killed Mosqueda and Kitchen, took her to the crime scene, then went to Arkansas together with her. She additionally stated that she threw Cantu’s bloodied denims in a rubbish can earlier than they left city, the petition famous. The bloodied denims have been a key piece of proof in Cantu’s trial, however Cantu has argued that somebody planted the denims, which weren’t his right measurement, whereas they have been out of city.

Mosqueda’s Rolex watch was additionally a key piece of proof within the case. While Amy Boettcher stated that Cantu threw Mosqueda’s be careful of a window, authorities discovered the watch in Mosqueda’s residence after his demise and gave it to his household, in line with Cantu’s authorized workforce. The discovering illustrates not less than one discrepancy in her testimony.

In one other discrepancy, Amy Boettcher additionally stated that Cantu proposed to her on the day of the killings with a hoop from Kitchen’s physique, however a number of witnesses stated the 2 had gotten engaged earlier than then, Cantu’s legal professional stated, in line with The Associated Press.

Jeff Boettcher was out of city throughout the killings however stated throughout the trial that Cantu instructed him about it beforehand. Jeff Boettcher has stated that he “lied” throughout his testimony, including that he’s remorseful and that he was depending on medicine on the time, in line with a video of him speaking to an legal professional and investigator in 2022.

In addition, not less than two jurors wrote declarations final yr detailing their issues in regards to the equity of Cantu’s trial.

“I believe that as jurors, we collectively decided fairly based on the evidence brought forth by the prosecutors,” Jeff Calhoun, the jury foreman, wrote in his declaration, in line with The Texas Tribune. “The unfortunate outcome, though, is that the trial itself was not fair as perjury was committed. I don’t know where else the truth was fabricated, if anywhere, but this alone leaves me apprehensive that we were presented with the total truth.”

“I do not want the execution of Mr. Cantu to be carried out unless a careful and thorough review of the evidence is conducted,” stated Maurice Jacob, one of many jurors, in line with The Associated Press.

Texas is the chief in executions throughout the U.S., with a outstanding 586 state-sanctioned killings from 1977 to 2023, in line with U.S. News & World Report. The state additionally led in executions final yr, killing eight individuals, in line with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Texas, which presently holds practically 200 individuals on demise row, has convicted, sentenced and launched not less than 16 identified harmless former demise row inmates since 1976, in line with The Death Penalty Information Center. “Several” extra have been executed regardless of sturdy proof opposing their convictions, DPIC added.

Once a person is on demise row, it’s tough to alter their destiny. From 2018 to 2022, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles thought-about 38 purposes for clemency in capital punishment circumstances however beneficial clemency in simply two of them, in line with The Texas Board of Pardons And Paroles’ annual report, printed in February 2023. The report detailing statistics for 2023 had not but been printed on the time of writing. After the board recommends clemency, the choice goes to the governor, on this case Republican Greg Abbott, for ultimate approval.

Cantu submitted a request to the board, however he and his authorized workforce additionally took different routes in hopes of getting his life spared.

In August 2023, months after Cantu evaded his April execution date, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed his attraction, saying his causes didn’t meet the factors for them to overview it. The transfer implies that Cantu will not be allowed to carry his case for consideration on the federal degree.

Cantu’s authorized workforce additionally submitted pleas throughout a number of courts in an effort to maintain him alive, in line with a neighborhood Fox affiliate. But on Wednesday, an legal professional instructed a Dallas Morning News reporter they “couldn’t find a viable path” to get his case reviewed.

A petition with greater than 80,000 signatures was despatched to Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis forward of Wednesday asking him to remain Cantu’s execution. Still, Willis remained unmoved, the Morning News added.

On Wednesday, Willis launched an announcement on X, previously Twitter, saying “Cantu’s guilt was confirmed with clear and powerful evidence.”

“After over two decades of multiple state and federal courts comprehensively reviewing his conviction, Ivan Cantu has finally met with justice tonight. My hopeful prayer is for the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones to find a long-awaited sense of peace.

Cantu had received support from TV personality Kim Kardashian as well as Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and his brother, attorney Julián Castro, who was the housing and urban development secretary in the Obama administration.

Kardashian, a staunch prison reform advocate, has posted about Cantu numerous times on X, calling on her followers to push Abbott toward granting a 30-day reprieve for Cantu.

“Whether you support capital punishment or not, the right to due process and a fair trial are principles we should all believe in. But a justice system that takes someone’s life without considering new evidence or faulty testimony that led to their conviction isn’t just at all,” the Castro brothers stated in a joint assertion. “We know a system built and maintained by human beings is subject to the limits of our imperfections. For that reason, we must examine every case with the gravity that capital cases demand.”

Cantu spoke with The Texas Tribune in an interview published earlier this month.

“Isn’t that crazy? I’m on death row, I have an attorney, a wonderful attorney, who knows what needs to be done to fix these problems with the court, and the rules and the laws are saying that her hands, basically her hands are tied behind her back,” Cantu told the Tribune.

“I often think about that because I don’t want to die,” he added, “it’s just days before they want to put me on a stretcher for a crime I didn’t commit — we’re doing our best to present the information to the courts, but it’s like they don’t care.”


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-man-evades-execution-death-row-claims-innocence_n_65d7f234e4b0cc1f2f7b3fc2