Texas Executes Steven Michael Woods, Despite Other Man's Confession

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

It's execution season in Rick Perry's Texas, with the first of four inmates scheduled to be put to death over the next week given a lethal injection Tuesday night.

Steven Michael Woods, 31, was executed for his role in the murders of a young couple outside of Dallas in 2002. But what exactly that role was appears murky.

Woods admits that he was there when the couple was shot in their heads and their throats were slashed. But Woods maintains that his accomplice, Marcus Rhodes, did it. Indeed, Rhodes pleaded guilty to the murders and is serving a life sentence.

Woods said not only didn't he do anything, he had no idea that Rhodes was going to kill them.

Howeve,r Texas has a law that states that a person can be guilty of an accomplice's crime. The Daily Mail writes:

The law allows a jury to find a defendant guilty of murder if they were involved in the crime, even if they did not directly commit the killing, or were involved in crimes that lead to the killing, or if they should have known the crime would happen and showed a "reckless disregard" for human life.

During the trial, the jury heard from witnesses who said that Woods bragged about committing the murders and that the plan all along was to kill them. Woods said they are lying.

During the penalty phase, the jury was told that Woods was involved in another murder in California where he ran to after the Texas murders. Woods denies this.

Woods maintained his innocence to the end, right up until the time the needle was plunged into his arm, saying, "You're not about to witness an execution. You are about to witness a murder.

"I am strapped down for something Marcus Rhodes did. I never killed nobody, ever. Justice has let me down. Somebody completely screwed this up.

"Well, Warden, if you're going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull that trigger."

Another Texas execution is scheduled for Thursday, and two more next week. Perry has presided over 235 executions during his ten years in office, more than any governor in modern history according to Mother Jones.

He has granted clemency just once.