28 March 2002 – Napoleon Beazley

A 17-year-old forfeited his life for a Merc today in 2002.

Brothers beyond

Napoleon Beazley was jabbed full of lethal injection after the youngster slaughtered a man for his Mercedes-Benz. He was with two mates at the time, brothers Cedrick and Donald Coleman, but they ganged up and testified against him in return for two life sentences.

Play dead

Beazley, however, was executed in Texas after he was found guilty of shooting John Luttig in the victim’s own garage. Luttig’s wife was also shot, but not fatally – she managed to survive the ordeal by pretending to be dead. Indeed, she later went on to identify her would-be killers.

Bias?

Of course Beazley’s victim was the dad of a federal judge, which surely didn’t help his cause. But it was his age that was the crucial factor – considered a minor at 17, legally Beazley should not have been held responsible for his actions. Or perhaps he would have been young enough to have been rehabilitated – this had been his first offence after all.

Such were the arguments from the Human Rights camp, but the law waived his rights to treated as a minor by deeming that he was a mere three months off his 18th birthday. This was Texas after all – the most trigger-happy of states when it came to capital punishment. Some even put the decision down to racism.

Whatever the cause, Beazley paid for his crime in a true Texan way – he was put to death by lethal injection aged just 25.

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