Last night, February 16, 2016, the State of Texas put Gustavo Garcia to death for the robbery and murder of Craig Turski in Plano (Collin County) in 1990. Garcia, who was 18 years old at the time of the crime, spent more than 24 years on death row. According to the Texas Tribune, his only personal witness was his spiritual advisor. From the Tribune:
Garcia received a new sentencing hearing in 2000 after then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn discovered that psychologist Walter Quijano, who testified at Garcia’s original sentencing trial, had claimed in testimony that Hispanics were more likely to pose a future danger to society, according to court documents. Quijano said he came to that belief because Hispanics were overrepresented in the prison population.Garcia and several other inmates whose death sentences had been influenced by Quijano’s improper testimony were granted new sentencing trials, but Garcia was again sentenced to death in 2001, according to the attorney general’s office.
Garcia was the third person to be executed in Texas in 2016. Three executions are scheduled to take place next month.