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Death penalty: more than thirty years after the facts, the oldest convict in Texas will be executed at 78

Interview with death row inmate Carl Wayne Buntion

Does the Death Penalty Deter Future Killings?

Tuesday 04/19/2022 at 11:30 A.M. - Updated at 11:33 A.M.    NEWS

By YEET MAGAZINE (with REUTERS)

In June 1990, this man, raised by an alcoholic and violent father, had already been convicted 13 times and was on parole for a sexual assault on a child.  During an intervention for a common traffic violation in Houston, Carl Buntion shoots and kills police officer James Irby.
In June 1990, this man, raised by an alcoholic and violent father, had already been convicted 13 times and was on parole for a sexual assault on a child. During an intervention for a common traffic violation in Houston, Carl Buntion shoots and kills police officer James Irby.

Texas is due to execute its oldest death row inmate on April 21, Carl Buntion, convicted of killing a police officer more than 30 years ago but who, at 78, no longer poses a danger to society, his officials say. supports.

In June 1990, this man, raised by an alcoholic and violent father, had already been convicted 13 times and was on parole for a sexual assault on a child. During an intervention for a common traffic violation in Houston, Carl Buntion shoots and kills police officer James Irby.

In Texas, a race against time to prevent the execution of the oldest person sentenced to death

Sentenced to the death penalty, he saw this verdict overturned in 2009 by the highest Texas court, which considered that the defense had not been able to be properly heard by the jurors. But in 2012, he was again sentenced to death.

In this case, Carl Buntion's defenders are not seeking to prove his innocence. " Every day for the past 32 years, I have regretted what happened ," said the latter during an interview with the KHOU 11 channel this week.

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But in this large conservative southern state, the most executed in the United States, a person can only be sentenced to death if a jury finds that he represents a future danger to others. However, Carl Buntion, who suffers in particular from osteoarthritis, dizziness, hepatitis and cirrhosis, " can no longer be dangerous ", argue his lawyers in an appeal to the Texas Pardons and Parole Board, which decide two days before the date of execution.

Texas: a 78-year-old man about to be executed... 30 years after his conviction

Carl Buntion, who has only been convicted of three disciplinary offenses during his decades of incarceration, has been isolated in his cell 23 hours a day for 20 years.

"In Texas, people on death row are put in a tiny cell with barely a small slit at the top for a window," Burke Butler, director of the Texas Defender Service, told AFP. . " They can't see the ones they love except by being separated by glass, talking on a phone, " she adds. Being in solitary confinement for 30, 40 or 50 years is " torture ", says Burke Butler.

Texas set to execute oldest death row inmate, Carl Buntion

Last year, the US Supreme Court refused to overturn Carl Buntion's conviction, but progressive judge Stephen Breyer said the length of his confinement " calls into question the constitutionality of the death penalty ".

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