81-year-old’s lawyers says ‘lengthy confinement’ calls penalty into question ‘constitutionality’
Carl Wayne Buntion, 81, was convicted more than three decades ago for the death of 37-year-old Houston police officer James Irby, soos die Houston Chronicle berig.
Harris County district attorney Kim Ogg said on Tudesay that it was “time that he be held accountable for his horrific crime”, as the date of the execution was announced.
“He robbed Officer Irby of his life and deprived the Irby family of a lifetime of memories with him; it is time for them to have justice,” Ms Ogg reportedly added.
It follows appeals made by Buntion and his lawyers against the sentence, including the decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to void his sentence in 2009.
In 2012, a jury however returned him to death row and in October 2020 the US Supreme Court denied a final appeal by Buntion’s lawyers.
Justice Stephen Breyer said in a statement on Tuesday that Buntion’s “lengthy confinement, and the confinement of others like him, calls into question the constitutionality of the death penalty”.
He is the eldest inmate on Texas’s death row, and was scheduled for an execution on April 21 during Tuesday’s court hearing.
The wife of Irby told KPRC 2: “We’ve been waiting for this. I wish James was here to see this. It is good to close the chapter on my husband’s murder. We can now put this away.”