Edward Green III, 30, was executed by lethal injection on 5 October 2004 in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of two people.
On 31 August 1992, Green, then 18, and Jimmy Daniels, 17, were at a Houston intersection when they spotted two people in a car, and decided to rob them for money for drugs. Green jumped from the car Daniels was driving and pointed a .357 revolver at the driver, Edward Haden, 72. Green demanded that Haden get out of the car. Haden hesitated and let out a nervous laugh. Green then fired three shots through the window, striking Haden twice. The passenger, Helen O'Sullivan, 63, was struck once. Haden died at the scene. O'Sullivan reportedly crawled from the car to a nearby home, seeking help. She died at the hospital.
At 18, Green had no prior felony convictions. However, a teenage girl testified that Green raped her in October 1989, and evidence was presented that showed Green's involvement in five other car thefts from 1989 to 1992. He was released from a juvenile detention facility a few months before killing Haden and O'Sullivan.
A jury found Green guilty of capital murder in August 1993 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in October 1995. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Jimmy Lee Daniels was charged with aggravated robbery. The disposition of his case was not available for this report, but he was convicted of aggravated robbery in 1995 - presumably for a different crime - and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He is in custody as of this writing.
In 1998, while on death row, Green fathered a child with Tameika East, a correctional officer at the Ellis unit where Green was confined. Green married East by proxy in April 1999. She was forced to resign. Although having sex with an inmate is a felony, East was not charged.
"I just fell in love with him," East told a reporter. "He didn't hide his feelings like most men." East continued to visit Green on death row all the way up to the last days before his execution, often bringing their daughter, Gabriela, with her.
East refused to explain how she and Green were able to have sexual relations on death row. However, in 1999, Texas death row was moved to the Terrell unit in Livingston, where the prisoners' movements are more restricted than at the Ellis unit.
In an interview on death row, Green said that he was high on "fry" - marijuana laced with PCP and embalming fluid - when he robbed and killed Haden and O'Sullivan. "At that time, I didn't have any type of value for human life, not even my own," he said.
In the days before his execution, attorneys filed a motion on Green's behalf asking for an stay based on ongoing reports of evidence mishandling at the Houston Police Department's crime lab. Those reports involved mislabeled and improperly stored evidence and sloppy DNA testing practices. Defense attorneys said that all executions from Harris county, including Green's, should be stayed until all evidence at the Houston crime lab could be checked. Prosecutors claimed that all evidence involving Green had been accounted for, that physical evidence was not a key factor in his conviction, and that no DNA evidence was used in his case. A judge declined the request for a stay. Meanwhile, Green told a reporter that he was unaware such an appeal was being made on his behalf. One of the lawyers working on the appeal disputed that assertion. "We would never do this without the inmate's consent," he said.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Governor Rick Perry, and the U.S. Supreme Court also rejected the defense's attempts to halt the execution.
In the execution chamber, Green made a last statement that mixed with sorrow with ambivalence. "I never claimed to be the best person," he said. "I am not the best father, the best son, or the best friend in the world. I did the best I could with what I had. I come with no hate in my heart or bitterness ... I can only apologize for all the pain I caused you. May God forgive us on this day." He was pronounced dead at 8:21 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 8 October 2004.
Source: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, Houston Chronicle, Huntsville Item.