March 2, 2010 – On a day that Texans went to the polls to vote, Texas executed the 450th person since 1982 and the 211th person since Governor Rick Perry took office in 2000.

From the Houston Chronicle:

A Dallas-area man convicted of fatally shooting a newlywed Brazilian engineer whose wife was also killed in an attack nearly a decade ago was executed Tuesday evening in the nation’s busiest death penalty state.

Michael Sigala, 32, was condemned to death for the August 2000 fatal shooting of Kleber Santos, 28, who was killed along with his wife at their apartment in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. Sigala also was charged with the wife’s slaying but was not tried.

Sigala is the third prisoner in Texas to be put to death by lethal injection this year and the first of four scheduled to die this month in the state.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to review his case. No new appeals were filed before his execution.

Sigala was on probation for robbery and allowed for the day to leave a Dallas-area substance abuse treatment center he was staying at in order to look for a job when the slayings happened.

During his final statement, Sigala asked for forgiveness from the slain couple’s relatives who attended the execution.

“I have no reason for why I did it,” Sigala said. “I don’t understand why I did it. I hope that you can live the rest of your lives without hate.”

As the drugs took effect, he snored at least once and then gasped. Nine minutes later, at 6:20 p.m. CST, he was pronounced dead.

Attend the Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break in Austin March 15-19, 2010.

Join us March 15-19, 2010 in Austin, Texas for the award-winning Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break.

Special guests will be six innocent death row exoneress: Shujaa Graham, Curtis McCarty, Ron Keine, Derrick Jamison, Perry Cobb and Juan Melendez. They are attending alternative spring break to speak with participants about how innocent people can end up on death row. Altogether, the six exonerees attending the alternative spring break spent a total of about 65 years on death row for crimes they did not commit.

It’s free, except for a $25 housing fee for those who need us to arrange housing for you. We will house you in a shared room with other spring breakers in either a hotel or dorm. You are responsible for your travel, food and other expenses, but the program and most of the housing costs are on us. The $25 housing fee is all you pay. Register here.

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