Texas executes its oldest death row inmate

Steph Deschamps / April 22, 2022

Carl Buntion, 78, was given a lethal injection at 6:24 p.m. local time in the Huntsville, Texas, prison before he was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m., according to a Texas prison service document. I am remorseful for what I did, Carl Buntion said in his final words. I'm ready to go.
 
A spiritual advisor was able to be at his side and touch him during the execution, authorities said, a first in Texas.
 
In front of the high red brick walls of the Huntsville prison, some demonstrators shouted execution is not the answer, while dozens of people gathered to support her.
 
The family of the victim, a police officer, was also present.
 
Carl Buntion's lawyers said they had filed a final appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, without success.
 
In Texas, a person can only be sentenced to death if a jury finds that he or she poses a future danger to others.
 
But Buntion, who suffered from osteoarthritis, vertigo, hepatitis and cirrhosis, among other things, could no longer be dangerous, his lawyers had argued in an appeal, since rejected, to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
 
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 a traffic stop in Houston, Carl Buntion shot and killed police officer James Irby.
 
Sentenced to death, he had seen this verdict overturned in 2009 by the highest court in Texas, which found that the defense had not been properly heard by the jurors. But in 2012, he was again sentenced to death.
 
Carl Buntion was isolated in his cell 23 hours a day for 20 years.
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