Texas carried out its 10th execution of 2013, last night in Huntsville. It was the 502nd post-Furman Texas execution since 1982, and the second execution in the state this week. Texas is responsible for more than 37% of the nation's post-Furman executions.
"Vaughn Ross Execution: Ex-Texas Tech Student Executed For Double Murder," is Michael Graczyk's AP report, via Huffington Post.
A former Texas Tech graduate student was executed Thursday for a double slaying in Lubbock a dozen years ago.
Vaughn Ross, 41, was condemned for the January 2001 fatal shootings of an 18-year-old woman with whom he had been feuding and an associate dean at the university who was with her at the time.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports, "Anti-death penalty group stands vigil during Ross' execution."
Mary Ruth Thurmond has never forgotten her friend and co-worker Doug Birdsall, who was murdered by Vaughn Ross in 2001.
On Thursday evening, July 18, Ross was executed at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit for the murders of Birdsall and Viola Ross.
Thurmond stood on the sidewalk in front of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Lubbock with other members of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty at the time of Ross’ execution.
Birdsall’s son, Nathaniel, now an attorney in New York, issued a two-sentence statement Monday regarding the execution.
“My father raised me to believe that capital punishment is unjust. I am saddened that the loss of two lives will be needlessly compounded by the taking of a third,” he wrote in an email to A-J Media.
The days immediately following Birdsall’s death were uneasy for everyone — including Thurmond — she said.
Twelve years later, Thurmond is still emotional about the death of her friend, but she wanted to be at the vigil to show her opposition to the death penalty.
To date there have been 20 executions in American death penalty states this year; a total of 1,340 post-Furman executions since 1977.
According to TDCJ, five additional executions have been scheduled by Texas state district courts, including one in January 2014.