TEXAS (USA): MANUEL GARZA EXECUTED
April 15, 2015: Manuel Garza Jr., 35, Hispanic, was executed. Garza received a lethal injection of pentobarbital for killing a SWAT team member, Police Officer John "Rocky" Riojas, 37, in February 2001.
No last-day appeals were filed before his execution. Asked to make a final statement, Garza said he was sorry for causing pain to his family, friends and "especially police officers." As the lethal drug began taking effect, Garza uttered: "Here it comes!" His voice rose as he said "Goodbye," and then he let out a howl that was cut short within seconds as he took 3 deep breaths, then a couple of shallow ones. He was pronounced dead 26 minutes later.
The San Antonio Police Officers Association provided buses for officers to make the 200-mile-trip to Huntsville. Several dozen police officers were outside the prison Wednesday evening.
Garza becomes the 6th inmate to be put to death this year in Texas, the 524th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on December 7, 1982, the 13th this year in the USA and the 1407th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977. (Sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin, 15/04/2015)