Texas executes man who strangled to death 12-year-old girl

AUSTIN, Texas Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:57am EDT

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AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas put to death a Houston-area man late on Wednesday for raping and strangling to death 12-year-old Christina Neal in 2000, despite arguments that he was too mentally incompetent to be executed, the state's criminal justice department said.

Jonathan Green, 44, was the 10th person executed in Texas this year and the 31st in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

He was convicted of kidnapping the girl, sexually assaulting her and strangling her to death. Green buried the victim in his backyard, then dug up the body and placed it inside his residence, according to prison records.

"I'm an innocent man," Green said in his final statement, according to Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "I did not kill anyone. Y'all are killing an innocent man."

Green, who was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m. local time, added shortly before he died by lethal injection: "My left arm is killing me. It hurts bad," according to Clark.

Green had argued that he was too mentally incompetent to be executed. He was granted a stay of execution in 2010 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. On Monday, he was granted another stay by a U.S. district court in Houston; that stay was vacated on Tuesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

In a flurry of Wednesday evening filings that pushed the execution hours past the 6 p.m. expected time, Green asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene, but the court declined to halt his execution.

(Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by David Brunnstrom and Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (1)
DavidinWY wrote:
Kill, kill kill! proclaimed the same people who are so adamantly against abortion. Pro-life my tuckass! I happen to be pro-choice, and anti-war however I support the 2nd amendment and the 3 strikes law. I look at the states rights question a little differently… We are a nation of laws but how can one state have laws that supersede federal law? Why should the federal courts and the DOJ oppose each other about the death penalty? I think it is because it is so controversial that no one justice system satisfies both sides. Look, taking life for any reason is going to cause grief for somebody regardless of its the victim or the killer. Due to some very recent cases, many people once convicted in court of murder have had new evidence, or evidence thrown out that end up having shown that many

Oct 11, 2012 9:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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