Texas inmate Mark Stroman was executed yesterday for killing a Dallas-area convenience store clerk during a shooting spree that he said was in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks. Stroman claimed the shooting spree that killed two men and injured a third targeted people of Middle Eastern descent, though all three victims were from South Asia. It was the death of 49-year-old Vasudev Patel, a Hindu, that put Stroman on death row. The lone survivor, Rais Bhuiyan, unsuccessfully sued to stop the execution, saying his Muslim beliefs told him to forgive Stroman. The courts denied his requests.
From the death chamber, Stroman asked for God's grace and said hate in the world had to stop. "Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace," he said, calling himself "still a proud American, Texas loud, Texas proud." He added, "God bless America. God bless everyone," then turned to the warden and said: "Let's do this damn thing."