Saturday, June 04, 2011
Not revenge, but forgiveness is sweet
Victim of 9/11 hate crime fights for attacker's life
Days after the 9/11 terror attacks, 31-year old laborer Mark Stroman went on a shooting spree in the Dallas area. In a drug-fueled mission of revenge, he killed two South Asian immigrants and shot another — Rais Bhuiyan — in the face at close range, blinding him in one eye.
Shortly after his arrest, Stroman boasted of his role as "Arab Slayer."
Now, as Stroman faces imminent execution in Texas, an unlikely champion is fighting to save his life: Bhuiyan, who spent years recovering from the wounds he suffered in the attack.
"I've had many years to grow spiritually," said Bhuiyan, a Muslim who immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh and now works as technology professional in Dallas. "I'm trying to do my best not to allow the loss of another human life. I'll knock on every door possible."Bhuiyan began collecting signatures late last year on a petition asking the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Stroman's death penalty sentence to life in prison without parole through his website World without Hate.
Among those supporting his cause are some relatives of the two victims who were killed.
'Unprecedented' The odds are stacked against Stroman, 41, who is held in the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, where he is scheduled to be executed on July 20.
The seven-member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles holds the power to recommend a commutation to the governor, but it has only done so in one death penalty case since December 2000, when the current Gov. Rick Perry took office. That recommendation was denied by Perry.
By Kari Huus, Canada msn news June 3