Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3 down now, but three allowed to live and be fed by Texas taxpayers

Are you ready? Hey, are you ready for this?
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?
Out of the doorway the bullets rip to the sound of the beat, yeah
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone
And another one gone
Another one bites the dust.

[The folowing is a copyright news story]

Huntsville, Texas (CBS/KHOU) Murderer Peter Anthony Cantu was executed by the state of Texas Tuesday evening.

He was the ringleader in a crime that struck a raw nerve for its sheer brutality: the repeated gang rape, torture and murder of 14-year-old Jennifer Ertman and 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena in 1993.

The lethal injection was performed at 6:09 p.m. By 6:17 p.m. Cantu was pronounced dead. He was 35 and had lived on death row longer than his victims were alive.

No one came to witness on Cantu's behalf when he received his lethal injection.

The girls' families came to witness the execution and were met by supporters and applause when they walked out of the Walls Unit.

Before this case, relatives were specifically prohibited from watching. Today it is a common occurrence.

"Why do I watch? For justice. For justice for my little girl," Elizabeth's father, Adolph Pena, said. [This is the third of her killers he has watched die.]

Houston was stunned when Cantu and his gang were arrested. Instead of remorse there was violence from Cantu. Cameras caught Cantu cuffed and escorted by two officers still trying to kick news photographers.

When he finally faced death, Cantu made no apology and had no statement.

Elizabeth's father said he was not surprised.

"Nothing he would say to me would make any difference," he said.

In June of 1993, the two girls stumbled across a gang initiation on White Oak Bayou. Six teenagers repeatedly raped, assaulted, then beat the girls to death, beyond recognition.

"Hopefully they'll find some peace. What would I tell them? We love them and miss them," Adolph Pena said.

During the trial, the Ertmans asked to address the court. An angry Randy Ertman stood at the trial and told the killers: "We live for the day you die. I hope you rot in hell."

But after the execution Tuesday things were different. The Ertmans left without saying a word. Randy Ertmans' fiery red hair is gray, and now Cantu is dead.

Three of the Pena and Ertman killers have been executed. Three others have long prison terms. Two of them will come up for parole in 2028. The Ertmans and Penas are videotaping their protest for the parole board, in case they are not here in 18 years to protest in person.

For the families, it is a fight they will take beyond the grave.


Rot in hell, Peter Anthony Cantu. Your initiation is tonight.


  1. First I've heard of it... maybe thats why I don't watch the news.

    But glad to hear he will soon be gone.

  2. Why I think a death sentence is never a good idea:

    Apart from that, death sentences are vastly more expensive than lifelong imprisonment:

    Thirdly, and mostly me being facetious: If you are after revenge (and here I am extrapolating from the tone of your writing, and may be wrong), and you don't happen to believe in the hole religion-mumbo jumbo (as I don't), then isn't it better for those criminals to rot in prison, to know they will never again be free, instead of just ending their existence?

    In the hope of tempting you into doing a few political posts,

  3. I disagree with Boris.
    He links to a case showing a man wrongly convicted. But in many cases, there is overwhelming evidence, and no doubt at all.
    Keeping a prisoner in maximum security for many years is expensive. Executing a murderer within a year of sentencing should be cheap.
    What I don't understand is why these people are so many years on death row.
    If they are proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and the court feels they should never be freed, then BANG!.
    End of story.

  4. And I am with soubriquet on this particular topic.

  5. @Jeff King - Well, it was just another Texas execution, so you have to look on the back page, but I remembered the girls' names from years back.

    @Boris - Well, I knew you didn't like the idea of executions since you are European, and I understand. I don't like executions of all killers either - only the ones who we know actually did it. It might surprise you to know that only the most heinous of animals ever get executed in America, even in Texas - most killers just spend life in prison, break out, kill again, etc. Well, most don't break out and kill again. Some do.

    Killers in my state (New Mexico) don't risk the death penalty anymore, as of this year. Indeed, few did before, either.

    Yes, executing someone is more expensive than just putting him in prison. That's because we have to pay his lawyers for 20 years. The chemicals themselves are relatively inexpensive.

    I'm not after revenge and I don't know anyone who is. Mostly we are after justice. To us, Justice means the victims' lives were worth as much as their killer's lives. You may possibly have the word revenge mixed up with the word avenge, I don't know. I do know I am happy when one of these cocksucker's lives is snuffed out by the state, though, if you will forgive my insensitivity.

    Most of my friends on this blog think like you think and not how I think, so I respect your opinion on the care and feeding of monsters. Not regular killers, mind you - I only want to off the true monsters who not only admit their guilt but brag about it.

    I remember one animal in my state who, with his buddies, raped and killed a 12 year old girl in the mountains not far from where I live. In the end, they put her face in a mud puddle and put their foot on the back of her head to drown her. So they said in their bragging. When the district attorney asked him what the girl's last words were, this particular animal said, without emotion, "Please don't leave my body out here where the animals can get it." The little girl was afraid of wild animals in the mountains, you see.

    But they did anyway.

    I think he may be out of prison by now.

    Yeah, Boris, I respect your opinion. Theory is cool.

  6. @Soubriquet - I think we have been over this territory before. He goes through years of appeals on the state level, and then he can start in the federal courts, saying he didn't get justice. I think 19 years is about average, I read somewhere. I don't begrudge an appeal to review the case, but this is a bit much, as you say. But I won't begrudge the long appeals. I prefer to leave that in the hands of providence.

    The thing I find almost funny though, is that after 20 years, his lawyer starts arguing the guy is now a whole different man from what he was when he killed, and so should be spared or even freed. I'm sure he IS a different person now. Born again, to boot.

    At least when they finally shoot the juice into their veins, people stop calling them "alleged" killers.

  7. Nothing makes my blood boil more than insinuating that sitting in a jail cell with 3 squares a day, free health care, cable TV and the thought that someday some idiot will find a way to get you back out into society cost less that a bullet. Please, give me a break.
    When the sentence guilty is announced, pick a date for the execution within the next month. Monsters have no rights.

  8. @Stephanie Barr - I knew you would agree with me, at least in this one narrow instance. Shows your sense of logic.

    @Sue - I always thought you were smart. Now I am sure of it! :)

  9. @Boris - you have no idea how hard it is to restrain my political soapbox self. :)

  10. Hey! I'm a european too, and I'm definitely in favour of the death penalty.

    One of our local crazies, a man known to the press as "The Yorkshire Ripper", killed thirteen women, attacked several others, recently went to appeal on the grounds that his mental illness is now controlled, he's a reformed man etc. "So when do I get out?"

    Well, luckily the court said "Never". But my preferred treatment for him would have been somewhat closer to what he inflicted on his victims. It would have involved a ball-peen hammer and a large screwdriver, and a kitchen-knife.
    Don't let anyone tell me that keeping him in a nice secure mental hospital is a tough sentence. Not compared with the sentence he gave his victims, it isn't.

    Revenge? Avenge? Maybe both. I know for sure, he'd never do it again, or remember his crimes with a smile, if he was dead.

  11. Relax Max, I know it's hard to tell from my blog if I have a rational thought in my head, that's on purpose, but killers on death row for decades - ridiculous. Being a parent I can't begin to imagine what these poor parents have gone through and will continue to go through. Having to video tape protests for the parole board in case they aren't there, let's say it - dead, says it all.

  12. Oh and one more thing, Christ wasn't in my driveway, I hope you figured that out on your own but just in case, no. I will keep my eyes open should he present himself and definitely blog about it though.

  13. My reasons are practical. No person who has demonstrated his willingness to harm others will ever harm another human being once he's been put to death.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your views), no other method is equally full-proof.



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