Former San Antonio rap artist Ray Jasper was executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday for a murder that took place 16 years ago. In 1998, Jasper was convicted of robbing and killing studio owner David Alejandro. Up until the moment he received his pentobarbital shot, Jasper maintained his innocence. He was pronounced dead at exactly 6:31 p.m., moments after he delivered his final statement.
Before the execution, Jasper wrote a letter addressed to his family asking them to look after one another, have faith in God, and “stay strong”. He also told his daughter that he loved her and advised her to be strong and positive so that she may “have a great life”. Jasper expressed his gratitude to his supporters, after which he prayed to God that he might see his “spirit”.
Neither Jasper nor Alejandro’s family were present to witness the execution. The victim’s family reportedly chose to spend time together in San Antonio instead.
Jasper was 18 years old at the time of the crime, which he committed with two other individuals named Steve Russell and Douglas Williams. The three men had scheduled a recording session with Alejandro, but instead attacked the victim and stole his expensive equipment. While Jasper acknowledged slitting Alejandro’s throat, he insisted that the real cause of death was a fatal stab delivered by accomplice Steven Russell. The two cohorts were sentenced to life imprisonment and are currently serving time.
Jasper became the third Texas inmate to be executed this year. Texas, which is the most active enforcer of the death penalty in the United States, is executing another prisoner next week before it starts using a new batch of pentobarbital obtained from a different supplier. Thirty minutes before Jasper was brought to the death chamber, the Supreme Court rejected an argument that Jasper lawyers made, claiming that a black potential juror was disqualified from participating in Jasper’s San Antonio trial in 2000.
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