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Texas Execution

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Ten years ago in El Paso, Texas, 18-year-old Sophia Martinez was kidnapped as she made a withdrawal at an ATM, then robbed, raped, and murdered. Yesterday, according to a story by Adriana Chavez in the El Paso Times,

In a small viewing room, Martinez's sisters, MaryAnn Martinez and Dulce Enriquez, and their mother, Lourdes Licerio, stood silently as they watched Berkley die. They wept silently while Licerio hugged one of her daughters.

It was over in minutes.

"Today is not about revenge. Today is not about closure. Today is not about anyone else other than my sister," MaryAnn Martinez read from a statement after the execution.

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An execution of a type that is becoming rarer and rarer--a decade or so appeals process (which is on the long side), a date set soon after the normal appeals and an execution carried out. More and more, it seems, courts are imposing last minute stays and pulling the rug out from under victims' families. The family of Sophia Martinez was treated with the dignity that they deserved by the process. Would that more families were treated with such respect.

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