6 February 2003 – Henry Earl Dunn Jr

Henry Earl Dunn JrHate-crime offender Henry Earl Dunn Jr expressed sorrow for his actions in the lead up to his execution today. He’d been found guilty of a senseless crime, where an innocent homosexual was targeted.

Of course Dunn tried to wriggle out of his sentence. He devoted his time on death row to trying to get his sentence reduced to life imprisonment. Dunn fought on the basis that he was a first-time offender and that he’d been fitted up with other charges that had led to the death penalty.

His campaign failed, natch, or we wouldn’t be writing about him. And there was no getting away from the fact that he was guilty of murder. Of that, there was no doubt.

Brutal

At just 19, he teamed up with a couple of mates to go cruising. The leader of the gang Donald Aldrich suggested a stint of senseless gay bashing and headed for a well known area frequented by homosexuals.

There Dunn lured the unsuspecting Nicholas West to a car park. They then drove him at gun point to a remote area in Texas, where they callously peppered West’s body full of bullet holes.

Half dead

Apparently West begged them to stop shooting, to which they drove off leaving him to die of his injuries. His corpse was found two days later.

Dunn along with his mate Aldrich, who had harboured a resentment of homosexuals after his cousin had raped him at the age of 9, were caught and tried for murder.

Their other accomplice, David McMillan was done for aggravated robbery and kidnapping. All were found guilty of their brutal and homophobic crimes – Dunn and Aldrich got the death penalty and McMillan got life imprisonment.

End of the line

After a tireless campaign to get his sentence overturned, 28-year-old Dunn’s time finally ran out. As preparations were made for his execution, Dunn addressed family of the man he’d killed, saying, ‘I hope you can find it in your heart to find forgiveness and strength, to move on and find peace’. They then put the line in and Dunn was put down by lethal injection in Texas on 6 February 2003.

Aldrich, 39, followed roughly 18 months later on 12 October 2004.

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