This week in 1993
“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.
This week in 2000
“…I apologize and for any other grief I have caused you know, including the, ah, what you’re about to witness now. It won’t be very long. As soon as you realize that [it will] appear I am falling asleep. I would leave because I won’t be here after that point. I will be dead at that point. It’s irreversible. God bless all of you. Thank you.”
— Michael Lee Mcbride, convicted of murder, lethal injection, Texas.
Executed May 11, 2000
After a tumultuous eleven-month relationship, during which McBride, a bartender, moved closer to Texas Tech University to be with Christian Fisher, his ex-girlfriend, he shot Fisher and a friend to death outside his apartment. He proceeded to shoot himself in the head but survived to tell a male nurse, “If you ever need any pointers of information on how to handle your women, just let me know.”
This week in 1956
“May our tragic lives and ending serve as a warning to all-young and old. [We blame our crimes on] coming from broken homes, growing up in neglect and not having a fair chance in life.”
— Melvin Sullivan and Verne Braasch, convicted of robbery and murder, firing squad, Utah.
Executed May 11, 1956
Sullivan was shot side by side with his partner in crime, Braasch. The men were convicted together of the murder of a service station attendant during a twenty-dollar robbery in Beaver, Utah. Their executions had been moved back four times.