The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied both an application for clemency and a 30-day reprieve request from death row inmate Kevin Watts, clearing the way for the state to execute him today.
The board acted Tuesday. Watts was sentenced to die in 2003 for the execution-style shootings of three employees of a Northeast Side Korean restaurant and the rape of a worker's wife.
By his own admission, during a robbery at the Sam Won Garden restaurant in March 2002, Watts shot restaurant manager Hak Po Kim, 30, and employees Chae Sun Shook, 59, and Yuan Tzu Banks, 52. Testimony and evidence showed he also kidnapped and sexually assaulted Kim's new bride.
Watts said from prison last week that he was not ready to face his execution. His time on death row has gone quickly, he said; inmates typically have 10 years or more awaiting execution. Lawyers on both sides of the case said the overwhelming evidence against Watts, along with his confession, led to fewer delays.
On Wednesday, family members including his 8-year-old daughter tried to see Watts for a last visit, said his aunt, Linda Watts.
Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is a non-profit organization with the primary goal of mobilizing statewide support for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Significant death penalty reform in Texas, including a moratorium on executions, is a viable goal if the public is educated on the death penalty system and is encouraged to contact their elected representatives to urge passage of moratorium legislation.
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