Friday, June 24, 2005

June 7, 2005

Last Meal: Martinez requested a cheeseburger, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes with gravy, bacon, orange juice, fried steak, a fried pork chop, onion rings, french fries, a quarter fried chicken and a bowl of shredded cheese.

The skinny: Martinez, 28, was executed for the robbery and fatal stabbing of a prostitute at a Houston house almost four years ago.

More skinny: Only out of prison for 3 weeks following his parole on a seven year attempted murder sentence,
Martinez called the victim, a prostitute, and made arrangements for her to meet him at his house for $300. Upon arrival, the woman and Martinez argued about the amount and whether he was going to pay. When it became clear that Martinez either had no money or was not going to pay her, the angry woman started to leave, but Martinez stuck a knife against her neck and attempted to have sex with her. She struggled and Martinez slashed her throat, causing her death. He then took $150 from her. Two days later, her nude body was found stuffed inside two garbage bags in a Houston field. "I regret I made that call," Martinez said, insisting it was the first time he had sought the services of a prostitute. "I was sort of curious."

Two weeks later, Martinez slashed his stepmother's throat in an unprovoked attack, but she survived. Martinez was arrested later the same day and admitted both slashings. When police searched Martinez's bedroom the next day, they found blood on the bed frame, wall, floor, closet shelves and door. Some of the blood was from the dead prostitute.

Martinez later had the following tattooed on his arm: "RIP, August 12, 2001, $300, Helen Joyce Oliveros. In 2004, Martinez waived all further appeals.

Leading up to: Partly out of fear that he will kill again, partly out of dread of spending his life behind bars, Martinez said in a recent death row interview that he wants to die. "Maybe not now," he said, "maybe not in 10 years. But someday, maybe 20 years from now, somebody would set me off. I give my life freely."

To the consternation of his appeals attorney, Houston lawyer Pat McCann, the killer has insisted that all efforts to save his life be halted. "I think Alexander's life still has value," he said. "I wish he would change his mind."

Last words and such: In a statement while strapped to the death chamber gurney, he thanked his family and friends and expressed his love for them. "And thanks for the friends at the Polunsky Unit that helped me get through this that didn't agree with my decision and still gave me their friendship." In a handwritten statement he prepared about two hours before his death, Martinez acknowledged that "I have caused so much pain to so many people. I especially want to apologize to my victim's family for the life I took. I am only taking full responsibility for what I have done. I am truly sorry and, though some may not believe this, God only knows the truth and for that I know that's all that matters. I am ashamed for what I've done!"

His English-born wife by proxy and a sister-in-law were the only witnesses.

Factoids: Martinez was the...

28th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
972nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
9th murderer executed in Texas in 2005
345th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Statistics show an increasing number of death row inmates in the United States are seeking to halt the automatic appeals that accompany their death sentences and often take years to complete. Of the nearly 1,000 people executed in the last three decades, one in eight asked for their appeals to be dropped, although last year the rate rose to one in six. Experts have cited increasing tough living conditions in prison where the death row inmates are kept in constant isolation as a possible reason for the increase in "volunteers" for the death chamber.