Texas executed Cleve “Sarge” Foster Tuesday. He had received three stays of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court because of questions about how forcefully his lawyers defended him. He was the 247th person executed in Texas since Rick Perry became governor and the 486th since 1982 in Texas. Foster was the 30th person executed in the United States this year and the ninth in Texas.

In his last statement, Foster sent his love to his family and friends. “I love you, I pray one day we will all meet in heaven …,” Foster said. “Ready to go home to meet my maker.”

Texas has executed more than four times as many people as any other state since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976

Foster had asked the U.S. high court for a fourth stay of execution but it was denied on Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at 6:43 p.m. local time (2343 GMT) at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas criminal justice spokesman Jason Clark said.

Tuesday’s request for a fourth stay was referred by Justice Antonin Scalia to the full court but just three of the nine justices — Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — said they would favor another.

Family of Cleve "Sarge" Foster

“It was so hard for Sarge’s son Michael to let his father go. Michael and Sarge loved each other and this death will hurt so many for so long”, said Gloria Rubac.

Family of Cleve "Sarge" Foster

Sarge’s family praying before they leave for the death house.

Family of Cleve "Sarge" Foster

His family talking to Sarge Foster on the phone hours before his execution.

Photos by Gloria Rubac.

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