Friday, August 15, 2008

'Texas 7' escaped fugitive executed

And another one bites the dust.

HUNTSVILLE — Condemned inmate Michael Rodriguez, convicted of taking part in killing a Dallas-area police officer nearly eight years ago while a member of the infamous "Texas 7" gang of escaped fugitives, was executed Thursday.

Rodriguez, who had dropped all appeals and volunteered for lethal injection, apologized profusely.

"My punishment is nothing compared to the pain and sorrow I've brought you," Rodriguez said. "I'm not strong enough to ask for forgiveness because I don't know if I am worthy...

"I ask the Lord to please forgive me. I've done horrible things that brought sorrow and pain to these wonderful people," he said, looking directly at the widow of the slain police officer and Rodriguez's former sister-in-law.

"I'm sorry, so sorry," he said repeatedly.

As the drugs took effect, Rodriguez, 45, was praying in a whisper. "I'm ready to go, Lord," he said.

Seven minutes later, at 6:20 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead.

Outside the prison, several dozen police officers stood at attention while the execution was carried out, their hands clasped in front of them.

He was the eighth convicted killer executed this year in the nation's busiest capital punishment state and the fourth this month. Another is set for next week. He was the first of the six surviving "Texas 7" band to be put to death.

Sphere: Related Content