Tonight’s Execution: Carl Henry Blue, Texas

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Update: Carl Henry Blue has been executed.

Texas has carried out the second execution of 2013 tonight (or possibly the third, there’s also an execution taking place in Georgia), with the lethal injection of a man convicted of killing his former girlfriend in 1994 by setting her on fire.

Carl Henry Blue case details

Image courtesy of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

According to court records, Carl Henry Blue, 48, burst into Carmen Richards-Sanders’ apartment the morning of August 19,1994 as she was getting ready to leave for work. He then threw a cup of gasoline on her and set her ablaze with a cigarette lighter. Another man who was in the apartment, Larence Williams, was also set on fire as he tried to come to Richard Sanders’ aid.

“I told you I was gonna get you,” Blue said to Richards-Sanders, according to a Reuters story.

The male victim survived his injuries, but Richards-Sanders died 19 days later at Herman Hospital in Houston.

Blue turned himself in to police following the incident, claiming it was a prank and that he had not intended to kill his ex-girlfriend. According to court records, he told authorities he had been drinking and smoking crack cocaine prior to purchasing the gasoline and heading to Richards-Sanders’ home.

Blue was granted a new sentencing hearing in 2001 due to improper testimony from a psychologist who testified in his original trial that because Blue was black, his future dangerousness risk was automatically increased. The jury chose to affirm is death sentence.

According to kwtx.com, “Blue’s attorneys have argued that he’s mentally impaired, meaning he’s legally ineligible for execution and have said that instructions given to Brazos County jurors during the punishment phase of his trial in 2001 were unconstitutional.”

On Wednesday the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for Clemency denied a stay for Blue and the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed his appeal last week. The decision to stop the execution is now in the hands of federal judges and, if they decline, the U.S. Supreme Court. Shortly before the scheduled start time for the injection procedure, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a final appeal Blue, paving the way for his execution to proceed.

In an interview for The Eagle, Blue told reporter Maggie Kiely that he is at peace. “I wish I could take it all back,” he said. “I’m not an evil person.”

“They can’t touch my soul and my spirit,” he went on to say. “I’m going to the House of Jesus.”

Blue had two children, who were 6 and 7 when he was arrested and in a different story for The Eagle that’s well worth reading, Kiely has interviews with them about their father and what it’s like to know he is about to be put to death. “I try not to think about [the execution],” Blue’s daughter, Quanitra Gooden, said. “But all I can do is think about it.”

His was the state’s 493rd execution since capital punishment was reinstated in Texas, where more than one-third of U.S. executions occur.

In his final statement, Blue said “I did wrong, now I am paying the ultimate price, even though it’s a crooked way. I don’t hate y’all. Don’t judge, I’m not judging.” He went on to tell those watching “Get your life right with Christ, it’s coming to an end. I’m talking to each and every soul in this building, in this room. I don’t hate nobody, you’re doing what you think is your job. God’s law is above this law.”

Related Reading:

Carl Henry Blue Gets Execution Date

Texas to Execute Man for 1994 Fire Killing of Ex-Girlfriend

Central Texas Man Who Set Ex-Girlfriend On Fire Set For Execution

On Eve of Execution, Carl Blue Says He’ll be Going to Heaven

Siblings Have Good Memories of Father Set for Execution

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One thought on “Tonight’s Execution: Carl Henry Blue, Texas

  1. gabriel says:

    De acuerdo con la ejecucion….

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