Will Texas Ignore Victim's Rights?

July 19, 2011

Update: Despite the efforts of Rais and Amnesty activists to stay the execution of Mark Stroman, he was executed last night by the state of Texas. But there is more work to be done in the fight against the death penalty. Learn more and take action on our website.

Mark Stroman is set to be executed in Texas on July 20, despite the best of efforts of his one surviving victim to try to spare his life.  As readers of this blog will know, Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim from Bangladesh, was shot and left for dead during Stroman’s series of attacks on Middle Eastern looking men after September 11, 2001. Bhuiyan’s efforts to halt the execution now include a lawsuit against the Lone Star State alleging that his rights as a victim have been violated.

Both Bhuiyan and Stroman have spoken with CBS News (see video) and the New York Times about this extraordinary situation, but they have not had the chance to meet face-to-face, which is why Bhuiyan is seeking at least a delay in the execution.

It will be interesting to see what respect the state of Texas offers for the rights of victims in this case, when it appears none of them want Mark Stroman to be put to death.  As the Dallas Morning News points out, retribution for the victims is one of the main justifications, cited by courts and others, for retaining capital punishment.   But when the victims do not want that retribution, what exactly is the point of proceeding with the execution?