Ruben Cantu was executed by lethal injection twenty-two minutes after midnight on August 24, 1993 by the state of Texas for the crime of murder in the first degree nearly nine years earlier. Until his death no that fateful night, Ruben maintained his innocence. Ruben wrote to the residents of San Antonio four days after the jury delivered its verdict, saying “My name is Ruben M. Cantu and I am only 18 years old. I got to the 9th grade and I have been framed in a capital murder case.” A dozen years later investigations into Ruben’s case have brought into question the chance that the state of Texas executed an innocent man.
Since the execution, Ruben’s friend and co-defendant, David Garza, has come out and signed a sworn affidavit saying he allowed his friend to be falsely accused and has said that Ruben was innocent. As well as Garza, the sole survivor of the shooting and lone witness to the shooting has recanted his original testimony saying he was pressured by police to finger Ruben for the murder. Two of the sources closest to the crime are now saying that the state of Texas executed the wrong man.
An interesting comment to this article points out that the U.S. is one of only two nations which hasn’t signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The other nation is Somalia. One article of the declaration states:
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child’s best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.
I thought we were supposed to be a fair & civilized nation.