Texan man executed for post-9/11 hate killings

Mark Stroman, who went on a killing spree after the 9/11 attacks and murdered two people he thought were Arabs, has been executed in Texas.

Stroman, 41, died by lethal injection on Wednesday despite last-minute appeals by his lawyer at the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an unusual step, Stroman’s plea for clemency had been backed by Rais Bhuiyan, who was shot but survived. Bhuiyan said his religious beliefs as a Muslim told him to forgive the man who tried to kill him.

Stroman, who admitted to the killings, said he was motivated by anger at the September 11, 2011 attacks and wanted to take revenge on Muslims from the Middle East — or people he thought resembled them.

All three victims were from South Asia.

"I had some poor upbringing and I grabbed a hold of some ideas which was ignorance, you know, and hate is pure ignorance. I no longer want to be like hate, I want to be like me," Stroman had told the BBC.

Bhuiyan said that while Stroman was guilty of hate crimes, killing him was "not the solution.”

"His execution will not eradicate hate crimes from this world. We will just simply lose another human life," Bhuiyan said,the BBC reports.

Stroman's execution was the eighth in Texas so far this year. His death was delayed slightly by final legal applications for a stay of execution, and he was pronounced dead less than an hour after a court rejected his final appeal.

"Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace," Stroman said before his execution, the Associated Press reports.

"God bless America. God bless everyone," he said, before addressing the warden: "Let's do this damn thing."