Monday, July 05, 2004

June 30, 2004

..."Let's roll"...

Last Meal: A double bacon burger with cheese, lettuce, onions, mayo and tomato, onion rings, french fries, one BBQ beef sandwich w/fries and cole slaw, 2 pieces of coffee cake, tea w/lemon, a pitcher of lemonade and two 1/2 pints of milk.

The skinny: Harris, an apprentice bricklayer, was executed for a 1985 shootout that killed a man after Harris tried to abduct the victim's girlfriend.

More skinny: Harris broke into the apartment of the victim and his girlfriend as they slept on Sept. 1 1985. He was armed with a .38 caliber revolver.

He locked the man in the bathroom and tried to get the girlfriend into his pick-up truck that was parked behind the complex. The man escaped from the bathroom and came out of the apartment. He confronted Harris with a gun and was killed in an exchange of gunfire.

The woman escaped unharmed. Harris was arrested four days later.

DOCUMENTARY STAR: Harris was perhaps best known for testimony later proven false that sent another man to death row. Randall Dale Adams was convicted of capital murder in the 1976 death of a Dallas police officer based partially on Harris' testimony that it was Adams who shot the officer. Harris, 16 at the time, was not charged in the crime and later recanted his testimony.

Adams, who had no previous criminal record, served 12 years in prison and came within three days of execution in 1979 before his sentence was commuted to life in prison.

The event was made into a movie called "The Thin Blue Line."

Last words and such: Harris, in his final statement, referred to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

He said, quote: "Sir, in honor of a true American hero: Let's roll."

"Let's Roll" were the last words a passenger aboard the doomed Flight 93 was heard saying over a cell phone before attacking the hijackers.

Harris added, quote: "Lord Jesus receive my spirit. I'm done, warden."

Factoids: The Death Penalty Information Center reports on its Web site that 36 of the 37 states with the death penalty use lethal injection. Texas became the first state to execute someone by injection in 1982.

Harris was the...

31st murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
916th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
10th murderer executed in Texas in 2004
323rd murderer executed in Texas since 1976