Inmate executed for fatally shooting Dallas officer in 2007 | NanaimoNewsNOW

Inmate executed for fatally shooting Dallas officer in 2007 | NanaimoNewsNOW

The US Supreme Court earlier Wednesday denied an appeal by Ruiz’s lawyers to stop the execution. The defense had argued that the jury relied on “overtly racist” and “overtly anti-Hispanic stereotypes” in determining whether Ruiz posed a future threat, an element required to obtain a death sentence in Texas. Ruiz was Spanish.

In court documents filed with the Supreme Court late Tuesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office said Ruiz’s allegations of jury bias were unfounded because a review of the allegations conducted by Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot last week no such bias arose. One of the jurors charged with bias by Ruiz’s attorneys told Creuzot, “I was not and am not prejudiced against anyone or any race,” according to the court filing.

Last week, US District Judge David Godbey in Dallas denied a motion to stay Ruiz’s execution, saying his lawyers could not prove that jurors made testimonies at his trial that showed “apparent racial bias.” On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals also denied a similar request for a stay over allegations of racial bias. The court of appeals did not reason the claim, but dismissed it for procedural reasons.

Ruiz’s lawyers previously unsuccessfully argued that a prosecutor’s expert witness misrepresented at the 2008 trial that Ruiz was an ongoing threat. The alleged prosecutors of his lawyers knew about the false testimony, but remained silent about it. In his verdict, Godbey said the expert testimony was “possibly harmless” and that even if corrected, it would not have changed the jury’s decision to sentence Ruiz to death.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday unanimously refused to commute Ruiz’s death sentence to a lesser sentence.

Ruiz was one of five Texas death row inmates who sued to block the state’s prison system from allegedly using expired and unsafe execution drugs. Although a civilian judge in Austin tentatively agreed with the allegations, the state’s two top courts allowed the January 10 execution of one of the inmates who had been part of the litigation.

Prison officials dispute the lawsuit’s allegations and say the state’s supply of execution drugs is safe.

At his trial, Ruiz testified that he feared for his life when he shot Nix in self-defense after the officer allegedly threatened to kill him. He also said he believes the police fired their guns first.

“I didn’t try to kill the officer. I was just trying to stop him,” Ruiz testified.

Ruiz also said he fled from police that day because he had illegal drugs in his car and was taking drugs.

Gabriel Luchiano, who knew Nix when he worked as a security guard, said the officer was always quick to respond when people needed help at the northwest Dallas supermarket where Luchiano worked.

He was a “guardian angel,” Luchiano said. “It still hurts no matter what. Nothing will close it.”

Ruiz was the second inmate to be executed in Texas that year and the fourth in the United States. Seven more executions are scheduled for later this year in Texas, including one next week.


Lozano reported from Houston.


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Juan A Lozano and Michael Graczyk, The Associated Press

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