Death row final statements by Hispanic Texans

I was just curious why only the occasional guy has stuff in Spanish, and the FAQs don’t explain. I guess it’s about speaking to victims’ families, officialdom and soon-to-be ex-colleagues, most of whom will be English-speaking. Sometimes the English is so strange (“somebody find Void”, “Into your hands Oh Lord, I commence my spirit”) that one might wonder why they bother, but then there’s the odd gem (“Only the sky and the green grass goes on forever and today is a good day to die”) as well as outbursts of self-righteous rage like this, reported here:

What I want people to know is that they call me a cold-blooded killer when I shot a man that shot me first. The only thing that convicted me was that I am a Mexican and that he was a police officer. People hollered for my life, and they are to have my life tonight. The people never hollered for the life of the policeman that killed a thirteen-year-old boy who was handcuffed in the back seat of a police car. The people never hollered for the life of a Houston police officer who beat up and drowned Jose Campo Torres and threw his body in the river. You call that equal justice. This is your equal justice. This is America’s equal justice. A Mexican’s life is worth nothing. When a policeman kills someone he gets a suspended sentence or probation. When a Mexican kills a police officer this is what you get. From there you call me a cold-blooded murderer. I didn’t tie anyone to a stretcher. I didn’t pump any poison into anybody’s veins from behind a locked door. You call this justice. I call this and your society a bunch of cold-blooded murderers. I don’t say this with any bitterness or anger. I just say this with truthfulness. I hope God forgives me for all my sins. I hope that God will be as merciful to society as he has been to me. I’m ready, Warden.

Normally I’ll trot out the line that, given decent forensics, I’ve no problems with the death penalty, but–and I say this knowing nothing of the case–this kind of situation makes it hard.

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