US state executes man who shot dead police officer

The state of Texas executed Wesley Ruiz, 43, by lethal injection after the man was sentenced to death for shooting a police officer.

The Texas criminal justice agency announced that Ruiz died of a lethal injection at the Huntsville City Jail on February 1.

Court records show officers chasing Ruiz through the streets of Dallas, Texas in 2007 believing his vehicle was involved in a murder. Ruiz then opened fire on police officer Mark Nix, who was trying to break the window of his car with a baton. The shot that killed Nix.

Death row inmate Wesley Ruiz.  Photo: AP.

Death row inmate Wesley Ruiz. Photo: AP.

During the trial, Ruiz said he feared for his life and opened fire in self-defense. However, the jury sentenced Ruiz to death.

In the years after Ruiz was convicted, his lawyers appealed but were unsuccessful. As the execution date approached, the lawyers argued in the urgent petition that the jury relied on evidence of “openly racist” and “Hispanic prejudice” to judge the extent of the crime. danger of Ruiz.

The lawyer said that one juror described Ruiz as an “animal”, a “mad dog” and considered Hispanics at trial as “gang members”. This argument was later rejected by the court.

While in prison awaiting execution, Ruiz and a number of death row inmates sued the Texas criminal justice agency for using expired poison to execute executions, risking pain for death row inmates because the US constitution forbids this form of death. cruel and unusual execution. Officials insist the drugs they are taking are not problematic.

Ruiz is the fourth criminal to be executed this year in the US. According to the Texas criminal justice agency, Ruiz’s last words were to apologize to Mark and the police family. “Dear children, hold your head high and continue to make me proud, don’t worry, I will be fine,” Ruiz said before being executed.

Huyen Le (Theo AFP)

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