Texas Executes 400th Inmate

More set to die next week as capital punishment opponents call for moratorium
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2007 8:25 AM CDT
Dyamond Alexander, sister of Johnny Ray Conner, is consoled by James Alexander, after hearing of the execution of Johnny Ray Conner, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007, at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Texas has executed its 400th inmate since reinstating the death penalty 25 years ago, putting a convicted murderer to death by lethal injection last night. Johnny Ray Conner is the 21st prisoner to be sent to death this year, with three more slated to follow next week. Capital punishment opponents voiced their opposition—even EU officials urged Gov. Rick Perry to impose a moratorium.

Conner was convicted of a 1999 shooting during an attempted robbery in Houston; the Supreme Court denied to review his claim that his lawyers were defective. A spokesman for the Texas governor rejected the international criticisms, calling the death penalty "a just and appropriate punishment."