No more appeals have been filled for Texas inmate set for execution on Tuesday. Juan Martin Garcia was convicted of murdering an innocent man in cold blood back in September 1998. Garcia shot 32-year-old Hugo Solano in the head during a robbery for the $8 the victim had in his possession.
The murderer worked as a landscape and was 18-years-old at the time. He approached his victim outside an apartment complex in Houston and threatened him in handing over money and valuables. For merely $8, an infuriated Garcia killed Solano and fled the scene. He was later apprehended and sentenced to death for capital murder.
Garcia’s lawyers tried to file an appeal to the US Supreme Court, only to be rejected in March. And last week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also refused, in a 5-2 vote, Garcia’s request for clemency.
Despite acknowledging the murder he had committed 17 years ago, the inmate still insists he does not deserve the lethal injection for his cold-blooded act. He further states that he was “railroaded” for not testifying in his own defense at the 2000 trial, thus indirectly convincing the jury to find him guilty, deserving of the death penalty.
Garcia further states to be a changed man with deep religious convictions, although some of his fellow inmates doubt the validity of his claims.
“At least I’m going home and I won’t have to suffer this pain anymore, because I know that as the Bible says there is an afterlife with no problems and sorrow,” he said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
At his 2000 trial, one of Garcia’s close companions has testified against him. New accusations were brought upon Garcia, claiming he was the leader of a gang of four men involved in a series of robberies and shootings. According to him, the new evidence also played a major role in convincing jurors to reach a guilty verdict and argue in favor of the death penalty.
His execution by lethal injection is to be held in Huntsville. This will be the 11th death penalty carried out this year in Texas, which is the state with the highest number of executions recorded each year. Despite the overwhelming evidence against him and lack of sympathy for his case, Garcia’s execution comes at a time when cases like that of Richard Glossip and Kelly Gissendaner have sparked considerable, nation-wide debates on the moral implications of capital punishment.
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