Tonight, March 7, 2017, Rolando Ruiz is scheduled to be put to death for the fatal shooting of Theresa Rodriguez in 1992 in San Antonio. He was hired to kill Rodriguez in a life insurance scheme by her husband, Michael Rodriguez, who received a life sentence for his role in the murder. Mr. Rodriguez later was sentenced to death and executed in 2008 for his part in another crime.
Ruiz was granted a reprieve in August 2016 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His appeal questioned the effectiveness of his trial counsel and his initial habeas counsel. It also questioned the constitutionality of executing him after more than 20 years after his conviction. The CCA lifted the stay on November 9, 2016, however, after declining to authorize a subsequent application for a writ of habeas corpus. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently refused to overturn a previous decision related to Ruiz’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
There currently are six other executions scheduled to take place in Texas through July, including one other case from Bexar County.