12-year-old girl’s murderer executed in Texas
Houston, TX, United States (4E) – A 44-year-old man from Texas, convicted of raping and murdering a 12-year-old girl in 2000, was executed Wednesday after his last-minute appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jonathan Green was given the lethal injection despite final efforts by his attorney to spare his life.
Earlier this week, a judge offered a reprieve but was overturned by an appeals court. The 11th-hour appeals postponed the punishment around five hours past the scheduled 6 p.m. execution time before his midnight death warrant expired.
According to the Texas attorney general’s case summary, Green was sentenced in June 2002 of the abduction, rape and strangling of his neighbor Christina Neal, who was grabbed while on her way home on June 21 that year.
Investigators who found out that Green had burned trash right after the girl was reported missing became suspicious and searched his property. A shallow grave was discovered and stuffed behind a chair in his house was Christina’s body inside a bag.
Green was scheduled for execution on June 30, 2010, but his attorneys successfully appealed, stating that their client was schizophrenic and did not undergo due process in his appeal.
The court overturned the stay late Tuesday pointing out evidence that Green understood the reason for his death sentence. The Supreme Court stated that mental illness is not an automatic disqualification from execution, as long as the person understands the punishment and why it’s being meted out.
Green’s last words claimed his innocence as he said, “I did not kill anyone.”
He was the 10th Texas inmate executed this year, and the 487th since the state started giving lethal injections in 1982.