22 April 2022 :
Carl Wayne Buntion executed on April 21.
Buntion, 78, White, Texas’ oldest death row inmate, was executed by lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was condemned for the June 1990 fatal shooting of Houston police officer James Irby, 37, White.
The U.S. Supreme Court had declined a request by Buntion’s attorneys to stop his execution.
In 2009, an appeals court vacated Buntion’s sentence, but another jury resentenced him to death three years later.
His attorneys described Buntion as a geriatric inmate who posed no threat as he suffers from arthritis, vertigo and needed a wheelchair.
“This delay of three decades undermines the rationale for the death penalty ... Whatever deterrent effect there is diminished by delay,” his attorneys David Dow and Jeffrey Newberry, wrote in court documents.
With his execution, Buntion became the oldest person Texas has put to death since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on capital punishment in 1976. The oldest inmate executed in the U.S. in modern times was Walter Moody Jr., who was 83 years old when he was put to death in Alabama in 2018.
Buntion was also the first inmate executed in Texas in 2022. There have been only three executions in each of the last two years, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic and delays over legal questions about Texas’ refusal to allow spiritual advisers to touch inmates and pray aloud in the death chamber.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court said states must accommodate requests to have faith leaders pray and touch inmates during executions.
Texas prison officials agreed to Buntion’s request to allow his spiritual adviser to pray aloud and touch him while he was put to death.
Buntion il the first inmate executed this year in Texas, the 574th since Texas resumed executions in 1982, the 4th inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1,544th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.