Texas Executes Convicted Murderer


DALLAS, TX — Ivan Cantu was executed Wednesday for the 2000 murders of two individuals, Juan Mosqueda and Amy Kitchen. Prosecutors argued that Cantu killed Mosqueda, a drug dealer, and Kitchen during an attempted theft of drugs and cash from Mosqueda's north Dallas home.

Cantu, who had been on death row since his conviction in 2001, maintained his innocence, claiming that a rival drug dealer was responsible for killing his cousin, Mosqueda, in a dispute over money.

Before the lethal injection, Cantu's spiritual adviser, Helen Prejean, offered quiet prayers while holding his strapped right hand. Cantu expressed gratitude to friends and supporters, urging continued investigation to prove his innocence, stating, "I don't belong on this gurney."

As the sedative pentobarbital was administered, Cantu began snoring, and movement ceased after the eighth snore, accompanied by a gasp. He was pronounced dead 21 minutes after the drug flow commenced.

Ivan Cantu Mug Shot

Ivan Cantu Mug Shot

(Credit: Film Feed Biography Journal)

Cantu's execution was the first in Texas this year, with another scheduled on the same day for serial killer Thomas Eugene Creech in Idaho. Creech's execution was halted due to difficulties in finding a vein for the lethal injection.

Despite efforts to delay Cantu's execution, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and clemency requests, it proceeded after two lower courts and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected intervention. Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis maintained confidence in Cantu's guilt, stating that trial evidence supported his conviction for the brutal 2000 murders.

Cantu's defense attorney, Gena Bunn, argued for clemency, presenting new evidence challenging the integrity of the state's case and raising concerns about the potential execution of an innocent man. The defense claimed that a new investigation revealed flaws in witness statements, including inconsistencies in the testimony of Cantu's then-girlfriend, the prosecution's main witness.

While new evidence was presented, the district attorney's office contended that none of it undermined the core elements of the state's case. Cantu's execution has sparked conversations around the death penalty's reliability and the possibility of wrongful convictions.

The next scheduled execution in Texas is set for June 26, with the state historically known for being one of the nation's most active in carrying out capital punishments.

Death Chamber Lethal Injection

Death Chamber Lethal Injection

(Credit: Wikipedia)

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"After over two decades of multiple state and federal courts comprehensively reviewing his conviction, Ivan Cantu has finally met with justice tonight. My hopeful prayer is for the victims' families, friends, and loved ones to find a long-awaited sense of peace."

22 years of wasting taxpayer dollars. Literally every death row inmate says their "innocent". This man was not. Even his own family said he was guilty.

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