Texas executed Terry Edwards last night.
Terry had been on death row since 2002 for the murder of Mickell Goodwin and Tommy Walker. Terry, and his cousin, Kirk Edwards, decided to rob a Subway and Mickell and Tommy were murdered.
Kirk made a deal: he pled guilty to the robbery and was handed a 25 year sentence with the possibility for parole. Terry was charged with capital murder and received the death penalty, despite the fact that Terry had no gunshot residue on his body and Kirk was widely understood to be the dominant and more violent of the pair.
The prosecution also removed all eligible African Americans from the jury pool of 3,000 citizens and tried Terry in front of an all-white jury. Terry was a black man on trial for killing two white men.
Terry is the first man executed with whom I’ve had personal contact. To say we were friends is a stretch. More like friendly acquaintances. Last summer, he was part of a group of guys on Death Watch (the section of Death Row where those with a date are held) who banded together to send me a picture of Rougned Odor punching Jose Bautista in the face after they found out I teased one of their buddies about The Jays kicking the Rangers ass, and that The Bat Flip was one of the greatest moments in sports history. All through the ALDS series, I sent Terry newspaper clippings from The Toronto Star about how much his team sucked. Terry would let me know exactly how he felt about those clippings through Ramiro.
Terry was scheduled to be executed at 6pm CT (7pm ET) yesterday. Terry’s lawyers, making every effort possible to save his life, filed last-minute appeals. Terry sat in the holding cell alone, feet away from the execution chamber, for 3.5 hours past the scheduled execution time just waiting to learn his fate. The Supreme Court finally made the decision to deny his claims and he was dead by 10:17pm CT.
His final words: “Yes, I made peace with God. I hope y’all make peace with this.”
I have two friends on Death Row in Texas. Rolando Ruiz and, of course, Ramiro Gonzales. Rolando is scheduled to be executed on March 7th. Ramiro has yet to receive a new execution date.
Eff you Texas. Seriously. Your leaders repulse me. Your ability to spend so much of your money killing and incarcerating your citizens while struggling to find funds for your schools and social services repulses me. How you turn your back on the most vulnerable while simultaneously talking about protecting victims repulses me. Your propaganda repulses me. The very people you are hurting most are the people you’ve convinced you’re championing. So…eff you.
(Of course, inequality and corruption aren’t unique to Texas. But you are the only government who killed somebody I personally liked last evening.)
And while Texas as an institution repulses me, it is also the place where I’ve met some of the most lovely, dedicated, passionate people in my life. Keep fighting hard, my friends. Kick ass. Take names. Build on the strength of each other.
And please don’t move to Canada. I love y’all but we need you there to keep on keepin’ on.