The Dallas Morning News has published another editorial regarding Rais Bhuiyan’s unique call for clemency for the man who shot him in the face and killed two other individuals in Dallas and Mesquite back in 2001 (“Hate victim needs chance to reconcile with attacker,” July 19, 2011). Mark Stroman faces execution on Wednesday, July 20 for the the racially-motivated killing of Vasudev Patel, an Indian of the Hindu faith who owned a gas station and convenience store in Mesquite. The murder occurred during a crime rampage by Stroman in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City.
Here’s an excerpt from the editorial:
As for the question of whether Stroman should live or die, Bhuiyan has an extraordinary position on that, too: He wants his attacker’s life spared to end the cycle of hatred, violence and death and to afford Stroman the chance to rehabilitate and renounce hate.
Bhuiyan says he has the support of the families of the two men who were fatally shot, Waqar Hasan, originally of Pakistan, and Vasudev Patel, of India.
Think about it: three industrious immigrants working hard to support their families or advance their education. They are targeted by a vicious ex-con out to purify the country of outsiders. Now those hurt by this crime seek to drop the quest for retribution.
Retribution, in fact, is one element of the death penalty that the
Supreme Court has cited in allowing its use. With the victims of the Stroman spree now dropping the demand for retribution — vengeance, essentially — the state is left alone in seeking it. Moral authority, though, has fallen away.
Here’s more coverage of Rais Bhuiyan’s campaign for clemency, courtesy of Steve Hall at the StandDown Texas Project:
New York Times: “The Hated and the Hater, Both Touched by Crime,” July 19, 2011 (includes a Q & A with both Rais Bhuiyan, by phone, and Mark Stroman, by mail)
CBS News: “Victim pleads for Texas death row inmate’s life,” July 18, 2011
BBC: “Texas death row killer forgiven by shooting victim,” July 18, 2011
NBC News (Dallas/Forth Worth): “Victim Forgives Death Row Inmate,” July 18, 2011
Dallas Observer: “With One Day Left to Save Attacker, Bhuiyan’s Case Goes to the Media … and Federal Court,” July 19, 2011
And here’s an interview with Rais today on Democracy Now!: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/19/muslim_victim_of_post_9_11