Supremacist executed for 9/11 spree despite victim's plea
DESPITE a dramatic legal effort by one of his victims to prevent the execution, a white supremacist was put to death early yesterday for killing an Asian shopkeeper.
Mark Stroman (41) had gone on a shooting spree that he claimed was in retaliation for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Stroman died by lethal injection in the Texas death chamber in Huntsville, after a state appeals court had rejected the claim of Rais Bhuiyan -- a Bangladeshi man who had been shot by Stroman but survived -- that his Muslim religion allowed him to forgive his assailant.
"Killing him is not the solution," Mr Bhuiyan said. "He's learning from his mistake. If he's given a chance, he's able to reach out to others and spread that message to others."
He argued that state officials had not allowed him to meet his attacker as part of a rehabilitation programme. But the Texas court was not swayed, removing Stroman's last chance of a stay after the US Supreme Court had refused to intervene.
Less that an hour later, Stroman, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood supremacist group, went to his death with something of a Texas swagger.
He called himself "still a proud American, Texas loud, Texas proud," adding "God bless America. God bless everyone." Then, as he lay strapped to a trolley, he turned his head to the prison warden and said, "Let's do this damn thing."
In his rampage through Dallas three weeks after 9/11, Stroman killed two people as well as wounding Mr Bhuiyan and blinding him in one eye. He said he was targeting Arabs. "I wanted those Arabs to feel the same sense of vulnerability and uncertainty on American soil," he once said, but all three of his victims were from south Asia.
Stroman is the eighth person this year to be executed in Texas. (© Independent News Service)