One of the great debates regarding the American justice system concerns capital punishment, aka the death penalty. It’s an issue which – much like their laws on guns ownership – divides the United States.
While a slight majority in the United States are in favour of the death penalty a large part of the population want it abolished. And to make matters more complicated in each stat where the death penalty is legal, the executions are carried out differently.
The most common form is lethal injection. It is understood to be the least painful way, but a death row prisoner is believed to have stated he could feel the dosage in his mouth as he was being executed for murder.
Christopher Young, who was given a lethal injection in the State of Texas for murdering a store owner, claimed he could feel his insides burning as he was being put to death.
He told those who witnessed his execution he ‘can taste it in my throat’, minutes before falling silent and breathing his last remaining breaths, according to The Mirror.
The 34-year-old was found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of convenience store owner Hasmukh Patel. Despite pleas for clemency from death penalty abolitionists and Patel’s sons, the execution still went forward.
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) July 18, 2018
Texas State officials released Young’s final statement in which he said:
I want to make sure the Patel family knows I love them like they love me.
Make sure the kids in the world know I’m being executed and those kids I’ve been mentoring keep this fight going.
I’m good, warden.
Young – who, prior to his execution, released a video in a final plea for mercy – was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Mr Patel, aged 55, at a convenience store in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2004.
The lethal injection was administered to Young at Texas state penitentiary in Huntsville on Tuesday evening (July 17). San Antonio Express-News reports Young said ‘I can taste it in my throat’, adding he could feel burning inside of his body.
Young was officially announced as dead at 6.38pm.
Patel’s children, Mitesh and Rinal, released a joint statement in which they stated:
When we as a family look back on what Hasmukh stood for, and the values that he instilled in his family, we can look for the good in people; including looking at the good in Christopher Young.
The man that was executed today by the State of Texas was not the same man that killed Hasmukh Patel.
Christopher was a father to his daughters, and a man who desired to break the chain of gang violence through mentorship.
Can we find mercy?
Son of the man he killed says “please don’t kill him”
Texas is going to kill him anyway.
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) July 15, 2018
A number of pressure groups, backed by Mitesh, urged the Texas officials to let Young serve a life sentence. Mitesh said Young had shown genuine regret for his father’s murder and was working to help steer others from following his path. In a rally held last week, he stated Young’s execution would not ‘take us toward any positive outcome’.
Young was 21 when he murdered Patel. Before the murder he raped a woman while her three children watched.
The woman, who has not been identified, said she was angered Young didn’t acknowledge the rape or apologise to her family.
Speaking to San Antonio Express-News, the victim said:
I’m so pissed. I hope that his death was painful and I hope that he goes to the pit of hell and burns for life.
So far 14 people have been executed in the United States this year, as reported by the Death Penalty Information Centre.
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