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On Wednesday night, Luis Escamilla is slated to become the 24th convicted killer put to death this year in the United States – with Texas accounting for half of the executions.
The US supreme court last week refused to review the 33-year-old’s case, the Texas board of pardons and paroles on Monday decided against a reprieve and recommending clemency and no new appeals were in the courts on Tuesday.
“He’s a really bad guy,” trial prosecutor Fred Burns said on Tuesday. “I think what happened is the guy already committed one murder and figures that’s what [officers] were coming after him for.”
A warrant had been issued for Escamilla in connection with the shooting death of a West Dallas neighbor nearly three weeks before James’s death on 25 November 2001. Escamilla’s trial attorneys told jurors he was responsible for James’s slaying but argued it did not merit a death sentence because James was not officially on duty, meaning the crime did not qualify as a capital murder.