Murderer executed in Texas after 30 years on death row

A 53-year-old American, sentenced to death for murder and who spent more than 30 years on death row, was executed on Thursday in Texas, in the south of the United States.

Brent Brewer’s final appeals were rejected Tuesday by the Texas Court of Appeals. He was pronounced dead at 18:38 local time (00:38 GMT) on Thursday, according to a press release from Texas authorities.

His lawyers argued that the death penalty had been imposed based on the testimony of a psychiatrist who concluded he was dangerous without having personally examined him and despite his “exemplary” behavior in prison.

They also noted that one of the jurors who wanted to vote for life imprisonment had been misled by the court’s instructions.

He was originally sentenced to death in 1991 for the previous year’s murder of Robert Laminack, 66, who had picked up Brent Brewer and his girlfriend, Krystie Lynn Nystrom, in his car before stabbing the couple to death. behind the victim’s wallet containing $140.

The death sentence handed down in 1991 was overturned in 2007 by the US Supreme Court, but upheld during a retrial in 2009, largely based on the testimony of the expert psychiatrist, which was later found unreliable by Texas courts. determine the “future dangerousness” of the convicted person.

Brent Brewer expressed his regret for his actions in a video message, explaining that he only realized the seriousness of what happened after his arrest.

According to a recent Gallup Institute poll on capital punishment, a majority of Americans (50% to 47%) believe it is not fairly applied in the United States, the first since this monthly poll was launched in year 2000.

However, a majority (53%) remains in favor of the death penalty, according to the same source.

This is the 21st execution in 2023 in the United States, the 7th in Texas, all by lethal injection.

But the state of Alabama (south) has announced its intention to execute a convict, Kenneth Smith, in January 2024, by nitrogen inhalation, which would be the first. In this type of execution, death is caused by hypoxia (depletion of oxygen).

Mr Smith’s execution by lethal injection in November 2022, for a contract killing committed in 1986, was canceled at the last minute after the IV drips to inject him could not be within the legally allocated limits the lethal solution. time