Hoping for clemency on Texas' death row

Oct. 26, 2009 at 12:30 AM
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SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A Texas death row prisoner says he is hoping to avoid execution this week but he doubts Gov. Rick Perry will grant him clemency.

Reginald Blanton, 28, is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday for the robbery and murder of Carlos Garza, said he does not believe his execution will be stayed, the San Antonio Express-News said Sunday.

In April 2000, Blanton kicked in Garza's apartment door and shot him in the head when Garza refused to give Blanton his jewelry. Blanton filed a petition for clemency Oct. 8.

Perry has only once delayed an execution in nine years in office, during which Texas has executed 200 death row inmates. Blanton's would be the 19th in the state this year, the newspaper reported.

Blanton maintains he is innocent and has used the media to try to garner public sympathy. He depicts himself on his MySpace and Facebook pages as a human rights activist, wrongfully-convicted.

"I want to watch him breathe his last breath," Irene Garza, the victim's mother told the newspaper.

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