Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Christopher Swift

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By the time of his trial, Swift had decided that the wanted to be executed for his crime. He refused to allow his attorneys to bring any witnesses in his defense. His lawyers presented an insanity defense. A jury convicted Swift of capital murder in April 2005 and sentenced him to death. "The voices haunt me daily, and death is going to be the only thing that takes them away," Swift told the judge at the end of his trial.

Under Texas law, all death sentences are automatically appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Swift waived his right to counsel in this appeal, and the court determined that he was mentally competent to make the decision to represent himself. Swift did not file a brief on his behalf. After reviewing the trial record, the appeals court affirmed the conviction and sentence in September 2006. Swift did not pursue any further appeals and waived his right to do so.

The condemned man also wrote several letters to the court asking for a swift execution date. "I am writing to you one final time to plead with you to set my execution date ahead of those already scheduled," he wrote on 19 October 2006. "While others dread their approaching executions, I am very anxious to be executed and go to heaven to be reunited with my loved ones who understand what those on Earth cannot, i.e. the forgiving power of the Lord."

Swift declined request for interviews in the weeks leading up to his execution.

At his execution, Swift declined to make a final statement. He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m.


By David Carson. Posted on 31 January 2007.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Attorney General's office, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, court documents.

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