Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Texas executes man for murder, rape of teen

Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:32PM EDT

DALLAS (Reuters) - Texas executed a man by lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1993 rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl.

The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty said James Lee Clark's execution was the 152nd in Texas since Rick Perry became governor in December 2000, tying the record set by his predecessor, U.S. President George W. Bush.

Texas leads all states with 391 executions since it resumed the practice in 1982, six years after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a capital punishment ban. Clark was the 12th convict put to death in the state this year.

So far this year, only one execution in the United States has occurred outside Texas -- in neighboring Oklahoma -- as the lethal injection method comes under scrutiny amid growing concerns it is not as humane or painless as originally thought.

Clark, 38, was condemned for the June 1993 robbery, rape and murder of high school student Shari Crews in Denton just north of Dallas, who was shot to death after being sexually assaulted.

"I don't know what to say," Clark said in his last statement. He made no last meal request.

He was executed at the state's death chamber in Huntsville, north of Houston.

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