Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Angel Maturino Resendiz

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In interviews with mental health experts, Resendiz said that he often entered houses that seemed to radiate evil. He said that on at least twenty occasions, he entered houses while their occupants slept, but left without doing anything.

Resendiz may have been drawn to the Benton home because of their collection of ethnic artwork, which was visible from the street through uncurtained windows. He said that once inside the home, he spotted statues that struck him as demonic. Medical publications he saw in the house convinced him that Dr. Benton experimented on fetuses or performed abortions.

Resendiz also said, in an interview shortly after arriving on death row, that some of his murders were in response to the deaths of the Branch Davidians in Waco, or atrocities in Serbia.

While Resendiz was on death row, he reportedly sold his hair clippings and charged for autographs and interviews. George Benton filed a lawsuit to prevent Resendiz from profiting from his notoriety as a serial killer.

Most Texas death penalty cases take longer than six years to go from conviction to execution. Resendiz's case, however, received abbreviated review by the federal courts because his court-appointed attorney, Leslie Ribnik, missed a filing deadline last September. The Mexican government, which opposes capital punishment, then hired a new attorney, Jack Zimmerman, to take over.

Zimmerman was able to get Resendiz's execution, originally set for 10 May, postponed to 27 June so that a competency hearing could be held. At the hearing, psychiatric experts testified that Resendiz did not believe the state could kill him. After the lethal drugs were administered, Resendiz - who claimed to be Jewish - said he would enter suspended animation for three days before appearing in a new body in the Middle East to battle Israel's enemies.

Experts testifying for the prosecution pointed to Resendiz's resourcefulness in changing his name and physical appearance to elude detection and capture, and his abilities to enter homes silently and to make a lethal weapon out of seemingly any object that happened to be close at hand, as evidence of his mental competency.

Resendiz's execution was delayed by nearly two hours as the U.S. Supreme Court deliberated on his final appeals, which challenged the humaneness of lethal injection and the killer's mental competency.

With his execution cleared by the courts, Resendiz softly chanted, "Forgive me, Lord," as witnesses entered the viewing rooms. The victims' witnesses included George Benton, Josephine Konvicka's son, Karen Sirnic's brother, and Carolyn Frederick's son. Resendiz's mother, brother, and sister also attended.

Resendiz's feet were visibly shaking beneath a sheet as he gave his last statement. "I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me," he said to his victims' relatives. "You don't have to. I know I allowed the devil to rule my life. I just ask you to forgive me, and ask the Lord to forgive me for allowing the devil to deceive me. I thank God for having patience with me. I don't deserve to cause you pain. You did not deserve this. I deserve what I am getting." The lethal injection was then started. Resendiz prayed in Hebrew and Spanish as the drugs were flowing into his body. He was pronounced dead at 8:05 p.m.


By David Carson. Posted on 28 June 2006.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Huntsville Item, San Antonio Express-News, CourtTV.

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