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In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

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When it comes to the death penalty, guilt or innocence shouldn’t really matter to Christians.  

NASHVILLE — Until August, Tennessee had not put a prisoner to death in nearly a decade. Last Thursday, it performed its third execution in four months.
This was not a surprising turn of events. In each case, recourse to the courts had been exhausted. In each case Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, declined to intervene, though there were many reasons to justify intervening. Billy Ray Irick suffered from psychotic breaks that raised profound doubts about his ability to distinguish right from wrong. Edmund Zagorksi’s behavior in prison was so exemplary that even the warden pleaded for his life. David Earl Miller also suffered from mental illness and was a survivor of child abuse so horrific that he tried to kill himself when he was 6 years old.
Questions about the humanity of Tennessee’s lethal-injection protocol were so pervasive following the execution of Mr. Irick that both Mr. Zagorski and M…

Texas: Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval formally sentenced to death for murder of Border Patrol agent

Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval
Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval appeared in court Tuesday for his formal sentencing, almost a week after a Cameron County jury sentenced him to death for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr.

The courtroom was filled with dozens of Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement, who were there in support of the Vega family.

Judge Migdalia Lopez presented the verdict, sentencing Tijerina-Sandoval to death for the capital murder charge and life for attempted capital murder.

At that hearing, Marie Vega, the mother of the Border Patrol agent Javier Vega Jr., read a final statement addressed to Tijerina-Sandoval.

"I hope you spend the rest of your time on death row thinking about the day you are finally put to death, " said Marie Vega. She went on to say, "You sentenced yourself to the death penalty. Tijerina, you broke the law. You killed an innocent man. You thought you were so brave and tough, now be brave and tough and suck it up and die like you need to."

Tijerina-Sandoval was not present during her statement. As Judge Lopez dismissed the court, all Border Patrol agents got in line and exchanged hugs with the Vega family.

"Justice has been served in the Javier Vega murder," said Manuel Padilla Jr, Chief Patrol Agent. "Although this doesn't bring our agent back, it just shows the justice system does work."

Although this trial is over, the Willacy County District Attorney's Office is now preparing for the trial of Ismael Hernandez-Vallejo, a co-defendant in this case.

Hernandez-Vallegjo's trial is expected to start in August. Prosecutors will also seek the death penalty in that case.

Source: valleycentral.com, Abril Preciado, June 13, 2018


Man Sentenced to Death For Killing Agent Tells Court "Thank You for Making Me Famous"


"Thank you for making me famous it was my dream to be on TV," are the words a man sentenced to death for capital murder said at his sentencing.

Last month, the jury found Sandoval guilty of killing off-duty border patrol agent Javier Vega Jr. and last week the jury's verdict for capital murder was the death penalty.

Vega Jr.'s mother, Marie Vega, stood in front of the courtroom and tearfully spoke on behalf of the family, saying the sentence was just.

While Vega's Jr's father and wife sat with the dozens of border patrol agents who attended the sentencing, with tears in their eyes.

"You need to die for what you did, you don't deserve to live or breathe our air," Marie Vega said.

After the sentencing, Defense Attorney Nat Perez told News Center 23 said that this was the longest trial he has even been involved in.

"It was pretty tedious and contested I think it was hard fought, and certainly we're a little disappointed with the verdict," Perez said.

"We'll be filing a direct appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals, we think there's some things that the Court of Appeals should look at, and then we'll see what they say," he said.

During the course of the trial, jury heard Vega Jr.'s parents and children testify about the day the murder took place, when Sandoval and other suspect, Ismael Hernandez, Vallejo ambushed the Vega's while they were fishing on August 3, 2014.

They also watched Sandoval's video interview with Texas Rangers, where he weeps and says he must pay the price.

The defense has 30 days from today to file a motion for a new trial, although it is likely it will be denied.

Source: KVEO news, Marlane Rodriguez, June 13, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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