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article imageTexas executes prisoner who asked to drop appeals

By Nathan Salant     Aug 14, 2015 in Crime
Huntsville - Daniel Lee Lopez, the Texas prisoner who fought with his attorneys to drop appeals of his death sentence, was executed Wednesday for killing an officer during a police chase in 2009.
Lopez was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m., 15 minutes after the start of a lethal dose of drugs at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville.
The lethal injection began several hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Lopez's attorney, who tried against his wishes to block the execution by challenging his competency.
"I hope this execution helps my family and also the victim's family," Lopez said in his final statement, according to the Associated Press.
"This was never meant to be, sure beyond my power," he said. "I can only walk the path before me and make the best of it. I'm sorry for putting you all through this. I am sorry. I love you. I am ready. May we all go to heaven."
Lopez, 27, is the 10th inmate put to death this year in Texas, more than in any other state. Nineteen people have been executed nationwide.
Lopez's attorney, David Dow, had contended before the Supreme Court that Lopez was trying to use the legal system to commit suicide, and that the traffic collision that killed Corpus Christie police Lt. Stuart Alexander had been an accident.
Alexander's widow, Vicky Alexander, prayed together in the witness chamber while a physician declared Lopez dead, the AP said.
Witnesses chosen by Lopez went into another room and sang "Amazing Grace," the AP said.
"This has nothing to do with revenge," Vicky Alexander said afterward the execution as she hugged more than a dozen police officers who stood at attention.
"It's justice for my husband," she said.
Stuart Alexander, 47, was standing ion the side of a highway when he was struck by an SUV Lopez was using to flee in. Alexander had been laying down spike strips as part of the effort to stop Lopez, the AP said.
Lopez said last week from death row that it would be "disappointing" if the Supreme Court delayed his execution.
"I've accepted my fate," he said, "I'm just ready to move on."
At the time Alexander was killed, Lopez was on probation for indecency with a 14-year-old in Galveston County and was required to register as a sex offender.
More about Crime, Lopez, Huntsville, Texas, Execution
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