This week in 1993

May 19th, 2013 by admin

“I am an innocent man, and something very wrong is taking place tonight. May God bless you all. I am ready.”

— Leonel Torres Herrera, convicted of murder, lethal injection, Texas.
Executed May 12, 1993

Herrera was convicted in 1981 for the shooting death of a Los Fresnos police officer. Before he died, the officer, Enrique Carrisalez, identified Herrera from a police mug shot. At the time, authorities argued, Herrera was fleeing the scene of the murder of another public safety officer—a crime Herrera later pleaded guilty to.

Years later, attorneys argued that it was actually Leonel’s brother Raul (murdered in 1984) who had committed—and confessed to—both killings and supplied sworn affidavits from witnesses who claimed to hear the confessions. The case, Herrera v. Collins, made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled that Herrera’s “actual innocence” claim did not warrant federal habeas corpus relief.

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