Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

Texas executes man who admitted murders but said trial was tainted

show caption
John Balentine, a 54-year-old African American, received a lethal injection in Texas, nearly 25 years after he shot three white teenagers as they slept./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Feb 09, 2023 - 04:04 AM

WASHINGTON — The US state of Texas on Wednesday executed a man sentenced to death for a triple murder despite claims by his lawyers that his trial was tainted by racial bias.

John Balentine, a 54-year-old African American, received a lethal injection, nearly 25 years after he shot three white teenagers as they slept.

Balentine was pronounced dead at 6:36 pm local time (0036 GMT Thursday) in the city of Huntsville, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

It said Balentine’s last statement was: “Yes, ma’am, I want to thank y’all. I love y’all for supporting me. I want to apologize for the wrong I did to y’all. Forgive me, I’m ready ma’am.”

One of the slain teens, according to court documents, was the brother of his former girlfriend, who disapproved of their interracial relationship and threatened to kill Balentine.

Balentine never denied the crime, but his lawyer Shawn Nolan argues that he was given the death penalty because of racial bias at his trial.

In an appeal to the US Supreme Court, Nolan says the prosecutor dismissed Black jurors. Nolan also accused Balentine’s attorneys at the time of showing “racist animus” toward their client.

“Can you spell ‘justifiable lynching?'” one of the attorneys wrote in a scribbled note, referring to the vigilante killings in the segregated South to traumatize the Black population.

In addition, Nolan added, one of the jurors, a former military officer who was hostile to African Americans, had intimidated the others to convince them to impose the death penalty.

“I am pretty stubborn and pretty aggressive,” that man, Dory England, admitted in writing in 2021.

During the deliberations, “I made it clear that we were chosen to take care of this problem, and that the death penalty was the only answer,” he admitted in a document attached to the proceedings.

Nolan filed England’s testimony and other new elements in Texas courts on January 30 to request a reopening of the case.

The state courts refused his request, prompting him to file an eleventh-hour appeal to the US Supreme Court, which declined to intervene.

Balentine was the sixth person on death row to be executed in the United States this year.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.