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Not in My Name

...but they're dead just the same...

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#197 - Ramon Montoya - TX - 3/25/1993

U. S. immigration officials said that Montoyo had previously been deported on a weapons charge, but had re-entered the country illegally.

Victim:  John Pasco (27)            1/16/1983

Source:  The New York Times
Texas Executes a Mexican Killer, Raising a Furor Across the Border
Published: March 26, 1993

A Mexican convicted of killing a Dallas police officer 10 years ago was executed by lethal injection early this morning, drawing a rebuke from the Government of Mexico.

Ramon Montoya, 38, became the first Mexican executed in Texas in 51 years. Two days earlier the state executed a native of the Dominican Republic, Carlos Santana, despite protests from his native country.

Today's execution was front-page news across Mexico, where human rights groups questioned the fairness of the trial and accused the American justice system of racism. In San Luis Potosi, Mr. Montoya's home state in central Mexico, officials said 21 American prisoners had been transferred to a safe place for two weeks because they had reported threats from Mexican inmates over the execution.

Mr. Montoya's case drew pleas of mercy from Mexico and the Vatican. He came within seven hours of being executed on Jan. 27, but Justice Antonin Scalia issued a reprieve to allow the full Supreme Court to decide whether to hear an appeal. On Wednesday the Court rejected an appeal, which contended that Mr. Montoya's confession had been improperly obtained.

Mr. Montoya, who was one of nine Mexicans on death row in Texas, was the 56th person executed in the state and the 197th nationwide since 1976, when the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment.

He was convicted of fatally shooting Officer John Pasco, 27, on Jan. 16, 1983. Officer Pasco was shot as he tried to disarm Mr. Montoya, who said the gun went off when he fell while trying to discard it and avoid arrest.

Police records indicated that Mr. Montoya was trying to avoid his 12th arrest in eight years and the possibility of deportation to Mexico.

His last words were to his father, Paz Montoya. "May God help us," he said. "I'm ready."

"May God help you, too," his father replied, then watched impassively as the execution was carried out. Mr. Montoya died seven minutes after a lethal mix of drugs was injected, prison officials said.

Outside the prison, more than two dozen protesters held candles and chanted in Spanish, "Justice!" and "Life, not death!"

Within minutes of Mr. Montoya's death Mexico's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it "profoundly laments" the execution "and reiterates its opposition to the application of capital punishment as cruel and inhumane."

Source:  murderpedia.org

Ramon Montoya shot and killed a Dallas police officer on Jan. 16, 1983. Officer John R. Pasco noticed Montoya carrying a weapon down the street. When Pasco attempted to take the gun away, Montoya shot him in the head. Pasco died about six hours later at a hospital. 

Montoya, a 38-year-old Mexican citizen, was arrested about 45 minutes after the shooting just blocks down the street. Montoya, who was unemployed when he committed the crime, had prior convictions for weapons possesion and burglary.

After being convicted, Montoya was scheduled to be executed on Jan. 26, 1993. Instead, he received a reprieve just seven hours before his proposed execution. 

On March 25, 1993, however, Montoya was finally executed. "I just got away with one date last month and now I have another one," Montoya said.

In his final words, Montoya told his father, Paz Montoya, "May God help us." In return, the elder Montoya said, "May God help you, too." With that, the inmate simply said, "I'm ready."

A prison official confirmed that Montoya died at 12:18 a.m. Because Montoya was not an American citizen, much controversy surrounded the case. Texas Gov. Ann Richards rejected pleas from Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and the Vatican.

"Mexico considers that the death penalty is an excessive punishment that cannot be justified from the punitive point of view nor the prevention of crime," Salinas said. The maximum sentence possible in Mexico is life in prison.

Montoya was the first Mexican executed in more than a half-century.

"The day a Mexican is executed, it will impact our society enormously," Andres Rozental, senior Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview a year before the execution. "Given NAFTA, given the closeness of the relationship at this point, it would be very difficult to convince Mexicans why this would be done."

Montoya's execution brought about riots not only outside the prison walls, but also in Mexico. Several American inmates in Mexico had to be taken to a safe place for fear they would be murdered by Mexican inmates.

Ken Carden, one of the deputy district attorneys who prosecuted Montoya, described him as "one of the most dangerous individuals I have ever met. I believe there are some people who are wolves masquerading in human clothing." 

As far as the people Montoya affected with the slaying, one would rather forget the incident than continue to feel the hate. Kay Pasco, mother of the victim, spoke out about Montoya's execution. "At first, I couldn't wait for Montoya to receive the death penalty," she said. "I probably hated every inch of his body. But then over the years, I have no feeling at all for the man. After a while, he's just a name."