It is not news that Future Sheriff-in-Chief Rick Perry enjoys murdering Mexicans, for sport. That is why Michele Bachmann is probably having a shame-based pill binge, right this very minute, while watching her already-questionable relevance get flushed further and further down the State Fair Porta-Johns. But Rick Perry knows that in order to win 2012, he can’t just kill Mexicans. There are so many other troublesome people in America that need to be injected with poison so they can go visit Rick Perry’s Jesus, for example, youths and the mentally disabled. And Rick Perry is not going to stop until he gets them all! He is already well on his way, with 234 executions overseen so far, and he is on a roll.
In response to the growing number of people wondering exactly how many people Rick Perry has watched get killed, The Texas Tribune has published an encyclopedia of Rick Perry-approved executions, complete with fun facts, story highlights, and everything else you must want to read if you enjoy reading about people getting murdered for things they may or may not have done.
As Gov. Rick Perry touts his tough-on-crime policies on the national political stage, the case of Cameron Todd Willingham will continue to be scrutinized. Scientists have raised questions about whether Willingham set the blaze that killed his three daughters and led to his 2004 execution.
During nearly 11 years in office, Perry has overseen 234 executions — by far the most of any recent governor in the United States — and has rarely used his power to grant clemency. He has granted 31 death row commutations; most of those — 28 — were the result of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision banning capital punishment for minors.
To his critics, his parsimonious use of clemency is notable because of continuing concerns about the ability of prisoners facing capital charges in Texas to retain quality legal representation, the execution of those who were minors when they committed their crimes, the ability of some prisoners to intellectually understand their punishment and the international ramifications of executing foreign nationals.
And here are some awful examples:
Leonard Uresti Rojas was convicted in 1996 of shooting to death his common-law wife and his brother. The appellate lawyer appointed to handle Rojas’ case was inexperienced, on probation with the state bar and suffered from mental illness, according to court documents. He had been disciplined for not adequately serving his clients and was serving three probated sentences from the bar while he was working on Rojas’ case. He missed crucial deadlines for filing appeals on Rojas’ behalf, effectively eliminating any chance he might have had for relief. Shortly before his scheduled execution, new attorneys took on Rojas’ case. They appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and asked Perry for a reprieve. The pleas failed, and Rojas was executed on Dec. 4, 2002.
Napoleon Beazley was convicted of shooting John Luttig, 63, in Tyler during a 1994 carjacking. Beazley, 17 at the time, was driving around with two friends, a pistol and a sawed-off shotgun when they spotted Luttig driving a Mercedes and followed him to his home. Beazley, the trial record showed, shot Luttig in the head and stole the car, which he backed into a retaining wall and then abandoned. A jury sentenced Beazley — a former high school class president and the son of a city councilman — to death in 1995. “To delay his punishment is to delay justice,” Perry told reporters at the time. In a final statement the 25-year-old wrote that he was not the same person who had committed the murder. “I’m sorry that it was something in me that caused all of this to happen to begin with,” he wrote. “Tonight we tell the world that there are no second chances in the eyes of justice.”