UPDATE: Texas has executed Chris Young, an inmate on death row, against the wishes of the victim’s family. He is the 8th person executed by Texas this year.— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 17, 2018
Last week, we spoke to Mitesh Patel, the son of the victim, who was pleading with the state of Texas to spare Young's life pic.twitter.com/EFmZznOLJq
Chris Young, 34, was executed in Huntsville, Texas after a lethal injection was inserted in his body at the state's death chamber. Young had murdered Hasmukh Patel when he was 21-years-old.
In November 2004, Young shot the 55-year-old man while attempting to rob his store in San Antonio.
However, despite his grave crime Patel‘s had requested clemency for Young and wanted the courts to spare the man’s life. But the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously rejected the clemency petition.
Young’s lawyer filed a lawsuit against the board members and claimed his petition was rejected because he was African-American.
“l want to make sure the Patel family knows I love them like they love me," Young said in his final statement, probably referring to Patel's son, Mitesh Patel who opposed the execution. "Make sure the kids in the world know I’m being executed and those kids I’ve been mentoring keep this fight going. I’m good, warden."
Mitesh expressed disappointment with the final decision. He had appealed to the Texas’ Board of Pardon and Paroles to get Young off the death row.
"I really do believe Chris Young today is not the person he was 14 years ago," he said after what was his last meeting with Young. "It's really unfortunate that the board didn't hear our request for clemency. I feel sadness for his family. They're going to be walking down the same path my family has been on the last 14 years."
The victim’s son wasn’t always willing to forgive Young for taking away his father’s life but recently, after reflecting on the values of his father, he decided to forgive Young.
The 34-year-old’s repentance over the crime and him working others in the prison is what led him and other family members to support clemency, the Texas Tribune reported.
"Two wrongs don't make a right," Patel said. "Killing Chris doesn't change my path, my history. It only affects a whole other set of people."
"The biggest thing that drove me to change was that [Young is] actively involved in [his] daughter's visits. He's trying to be a good father. Being a father myself, and having lost a father, I don't want someone to go through life without a father."
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, before Young's execution, 12 people were put to death in the United States this year.
People on social media expressed regret over Young’s death – not because of the crime he committed but because the victim’s own son was willing to give him a second chance in life, after knowing Young’s was ashamed and wanted to change.
Over many years working against the death penalty, I’ve often heard the argument that executions bring closure and justice to victims’ families. What about families who don’t want an execution? They are ignored by prosecutors, judges and politicians. Where’s the justice for them?— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) July 17, 2018
I've had two close family members murdered during my lifetime...and everything Mitesh describes in this video is exactly how I feel about the death penalty. It serves no positive purpose, serves no justice. It only perpetuates the cycle of murder and suffering. Shame on Texas...— TrekkerTeach (@trekkerteach12) July 18, 2018
Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong. - The American prisons are not setup for rehabilitation but for vengeance.— letclaybeclay (@letclaybeclay) July 18, 2018
There is no such thing as 'closure' and when used in relation to the death penalty, when people say 'justice', I hear 'revenge'. The death penalty is simply not the answer.— DJ #FBPE (@dj_70000) July 17, 2018
The death penalty only creates more victims...heartbreaking.— Nancy Lockwood (@getyourdexion) July 18, 2018
I am heartbroken.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 18, 2018
Chris Young was a reformed man. He made amends with the victim's family and they begged for the state not to do this.
The death penalty is just murder. This did not have to happen. https://t.co/DzZGKDmDOr