I have been a visitor to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website for some time because IT IS AMAZING. Texas, being Texas, posts the last words of each person they execute, along with a brief description of their crime, and usually a mugshot.
As of this posting, the last person Texas executed was 6 days ago. Tommy Lynn Sells was 49 years old and is originally from Alameda (!), CA. Tommy was in and out of prison several times until his final crime, which is detailed here:
On 12/31/1999, Sells entered a Del Rio residence occupied by a 13 year old white female and a 10 year old white female. Sells entered the residence with intent to sexually assault the 13 year old. Sells slashed her throat and stabbed her multiple times, resulting in her death. Sells then slashed the throat of the 10 year old. The 10 year old survived the attack.
Okay. Alright. I am opposed to the death penalty. But Jesus H. Christ.
Tommy declined to make a last statement. Declining to make a statement must be the THING to do in Texas because I had to go back three people to 33-year old Ray Jasper, who was executed on March 19th, 2014.
“I want to say to my family, please take care of each other, stay strong and faithful to God. I thank everyone for supporting me. Christine, I love you. To my daughter: baby, be strong, be positive, have a great life. You know what you meant to me, and I love you. Stay faithful to the Lord. Daughter, I love you, I love you, I love you. May the Lord God almighty in heaven, Jesus Christ see my spirit. Amen.”
Okay Ray. Here’s his crime:
“On 11/29/98, Jasper and two co-defendants were responsible for the death of a 33-year old white male, which took place during a robbery. The victim was a musical engineer who owned a recording studio in San Antonio. Jasper had created his own record label and had his own rap group. Jasper went to the recording studio of the victim. He walked up behind the victim and grabbed him by the hair and slit his throat. The victim was then stabbed to death. Jasper covered the victim with a black sheet in order to “not have to look at him.” Jasper then began loading vehicles with the equipment inside the studio, estimated to be worth between $10,000 and $30,000. Jasper and his codefendants made several trips taking the property from the studio, and upon returning to the scene of the crime, he was observed to be suspicious, and eventually apprehended by police.”
Before Jasper, Texas killed Suzanne Basso on February 9th. A woman! 44-year old Sunzanne has no last words, but here’s what she did:
“On 08/26/1998, Basso and co-defendants kidnapped a 59-year old retarded white male and intentionally caused his death by beating him with belts, baseball bats, steel-toed boots, hands, and feet. Basso was the leader of the group and encouraged all the co-defendants to abuse the victim. The murder was committed for proceeds from an insurance policy on the victim (in which Basso was named the beneficiary) as well as other assets in which Basso was named heir. Basso had wooed the victim into leaving his family and friends in New Jersey and moving to Texas, under the guise that she would marry him. The victim was found in a ditch with injuries so horrendous that the body was unrecognizable.”
Are you ignoring my post and totally reading the rest of this amazing state-sanctioned website now?
Several prisoners state in their final words that they can “feel it working.”
As for last meals, Texas has done away with the tradition after some jackass ruined it for everybody by ordering one of every food in the world and then refusing to eat. When a Texan politician found out about that bullshit, he was like, “Awww, heck naw! They don’t get none of them last meals no more!” If I was on death row in Texas, I would be PISSED.
…And this has been True Crime Wednesday on Slow News Day.