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Texas Executes Man Who Proclaimed His Innocence

HeadlineAug 22, 2019

In Huntsville, Texas, prison officials injected 48-year-old death row prisoner Larry Swearingen with a lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital Wednesday evening, killing a man who proclaimed his innocence to his dying breath. Swearingen was convicted of the 1998 murder of 19-year-old community college student Melissa Trotter, but at least five defense experts testified that Swearingen could not have been the killer because he was in jail on unrelated traffic violations at the time of the murder. They also testified that someone else’s DNA was found under the victim’s fingernails. But on Wednesday, Swearingen was put to death after the Supreme Court denied a stay of execution. In a statement sent to The Washington Post on Wednesday, Swearingen wrote, “Today the state of Texas murdered an innocent man.” He added, “I feel certain that my death can be a catalyst to change the insane legal system of Texas which could allow this to happen.”

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