US & Canada

Post-9/11 hate killer Mark Stroman executed in Texas

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Media captionSpeaking before his execution, Mark Stroman described hate as "pure ignorance"

A multiple murderer who went on the rampage after the 9/11 attacks, killing two people he thought were Arabs, has been executed in the US state of Texas.

Mark Stroman, 41, died by lethal injection despite last-minute representations by his lawyer at the US Supreme Court.

In his final weeks Stroman's plea for clemency was backed by Rais Bhuiyan, who was shot but survived.

Mr Bhuiyan had said that killing Stroman was "not the solution".

The execution at Huntsville prison was delayed slightly by the final legal appeals, before Stroman was taken to the death chamber.

"Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace," he said.

"God bless America. God bless everyone," he said. "Let's do this damn thing."

Stroman was pronounced dead at 2053 CDT (0153 GMT).

'Hate is ignorance'

Speaking to the BBC before Stroman's execution, Mr Bhuiyan, 37, said Stroman was guilty of "hate crime", but warned that his death would not achieve anything.

"His execution will not eradicate hate crimes from this world. We will just simply lose another human life," Mr Bhuiyan said.

Stroman's execution was the eighth in Texas during 2011 so far, and came as his lawyers sought a last-minute stay at the nation's highest court.

They cited the "significant surprise" of Mr Bhuiyan's support, and argued that Stroman's path to "this violent frenzy" was not made clear by defence lawyers during earlier trials and appeals.

Stroman admitted the killings, saying he was motivated by anger at the 9/11 attacks and wanted to take revenge on Muslims - or people who resembled Muslims.

"I had some poor upbringing and I grabbed a hold of some ideas which was ignorance, you know, and hate is pure ignorance. I no longer want to be like hate, I want to be like me," he told the BBC.

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