Death Penalty Discussion
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Michael Riley - Texas Death row - Scheduled Execution
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Start : Tuesday 19 May 2009, 22:40
End : Tuesday 19 May 2009, 22:40


Michael Riley - Texas Death Row - Execution set for May 19, 2009

Victims: Wynona Harris

The Crime: Michael Lynn Riley, 50, was convicted of capital murder after he confessed to stabbing Wynona Harris 23 times before stealing $970 she was counting in a store Feb. 1, 1986. After his conviction, he was sentenced to death, but the conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1991 and remanded to Wood County for a new trial because a potential juror had been improperly dismissed.

Riley pleaded guilty to capital murder in September 1995. His defense attorneys asked for life in prison, but the jury returned with a death sentence.

News: Texas has executed an East Texas man on death row for more than two decades for fatally stabbing a convenience store clerk during a robbery.

Fifty-one-year-old Michael Lynn Riley was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. Tuesday. He was the 15th convicted murderer executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state.

Riley was condemned for the 1986 slaying of Wynona Harris, a 23-year-old clerk at the Shop-A-Minit convenience store in his hometown of Quitman, about 75 miles east of Dallas.

Last Meal: Two fried chicken quarters, two fried pork chops, a bowl of peaches, an order of french fries and a salad.

Final Statement: I know I hurt you very bad," Michael Lynn Riley said to his victim's relatives, including her two daughters and husband. "I want you to know I'm sorry. I hope one day you can move on and, if not, I understand."

The daughters of Wynona Harris were young children when their mother was killed.

Riley, 51, also apologized to his mother, who was not present, for being "not the big son that you wanted me to be." Then he reminded friends who were watching that for years he has said he was ready to die.

"To the fellows on the row: stay strong. Fleetwood is out of here," he said, referring to his death row nickname.

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