Aug 15, 2008

The Final Moments of a Penitent Thief

Within minutes, officials would give a lethal injection to Michael Rodriguez, the first of the Texas Seven to be executed for their infamous killing of an Irving police officer on Christmas Eve 2000.

Final moments

At 6:02, Mr. Rodriguez was led to the execution chamber.

"May I speak now?" he asked.

"No, not yet," a prison official answered.

He was strapped to the gurney, and then his executioners pierced his arms with the needles, first the left, then the right.

At 6:10, he began his final words.

"I know this in no way makes up for all the pain and suffering I gave you," he began. "I am so, so sorry."

He looked directly at Ms. Dalmolin and Ms. Hawkins-Acosta.

"My punishment is nothing compared to the pain and sorrow I have caused. ... I am not strong enough to ask for forgiveness because I don't know if I am worthy," he continued.

"I ask the Lord to please forgive me. I have gained nothing, but just brought sorrow and pain to these wonderful people."

He kept apologizing, calling the families by name. He thanked a couple, Irene and Jack, for "helping me find Christ's love." His words turned to song.

"My Jesus, my Savior, there is none like you," he sang softly. "All of my days I want to praise, let every breath. Shout to the Lord, let us sing ...."

His song trailed off and turned to a sound like snoring. It was 6:13, and his lethal dose had begun. He was pronounced dead at 6:20.

They pulled a white sheet over his face.

By STEVE THOMPSON / The Dallas Morning News

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

1 comment:

annie said...

blessed are the pure of heart, for they see God