Execution proceeds amid Mexican protests Crime: Mexican-born inmate put to death for killing Dallas officer. - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Execution proceeds amid Mexican protests Crime: Mexican-born inmate put to death for killing Dallas officer.

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2002 12:00 am


the Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE Convicted cop killer Javier Suarez Medina was executed Wednesday

evening amid Mexican government protests he was not provided proper legal

assistance guaranteed to foreigners under an international treaty.

Speaking both English and Spanish, Suarez apologized for killing Officer

Lawrence Cadena, asked forgiveness from the relatives of the slain police

officer and thanked the people of Mexico for their support in his case.

Id like to apologize to the Cadena family for whatever hurt and suffering

Ive caused them, he said in a final statement that lasted several minutes.

I sincerely ask in your heart to forgive me.

The mother and son of the officer were among the people watching him die.

I dont hold anything against anybody, Suarez added. He turned to his family

and told them he was going to a better place. This is just a stepping stone.

Im going home. Im at peace. Im at rest.

Switching to Spanish, he asked that God bless all the people of Mexico.

Thanks for your support and for never leaving me alone, he said.

At one point, he said Viva Mexico. His father, watching through a window,

raised a clinched fist at that moment.

Suarez asked that everyone on death row stay strong. Ill see you soon, he

said. He turned again to the Cadena family. Forgive me for the pain Ive

caused you all. Im truly sorry. May God bless you and keep you always. Peace

and love. Im ready to go home. Jesus Im coming.

As the drugs began flowing into his arms, he began singing the hymn Amazing

Grace, reaching the line: ...who saved a wretch like me, I once was lost...

Then he coughed several times and stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead at

6:23 p.m., nine minutes after the drugs were started.

Suarez, 33, was condemned for the 1988 slaying of Cadena, 43, gunned down

during an undercover drug buy. Suarez, 19 at the time, and a partner were

wounded and another companion killed in an ensuing shootout with Dallas


Cadenas son, Lawrence Jr., wearing a black-shrouded badge of a federal air

marshal, afterward thanked federal, Texas and Dallas County authorities who

helped push this through the system.

Dallas authorities said Suarez gave conflicting information when asked about

his birthplace, identifying both Mexico and Texas. Birth in Mexico would allow

him to seek legal help from the Mexican consulate when he was arrested Dec.

13, 1988.

Suarezs attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the lethal injection,

the 21st in Texas this year and the third this month. The high court, without

comment, turned him down about 90 minutes before execution.

Gov. Rick Perry, who traditionally withholds a decision in execution cases

until legal challenges are resolved, then denied Suarez a 30-day reprieve, the

only action Perry could take without approval of the parole board.

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