Human RightsNorth America

African-American Robert L. Henry executed by lethal injection in Florida

355517_Robert-Lavern-HenryThe United States has executed 55-year-old African-American Robert Lavern Henry, says a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections.

Henry, who was convicted of two counts of murder in the November 1987 killings of his co-workers at a Florida fabric store, was put to death by lethal injection on Thursday at Florida State Prison, Misty Cash said.

Henry initially admitted to killing Janet Cox Thermidor, 35, and Phyllis Harris, 53, but later recanted on the witness stand, blaming unidentified robbers.

Minutes before he died, Henry apologized to the victims’ families and friends.

Henry said that if his death would make the family members and friends of the victims “heal or feel better because it is the law, I do not begrudge you your closure,” adding that he was sincerely sorry to the victims, their friends and family, and his own friends and family.

“I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and “I willingly forfeit this life for a better life that He offers us all,” he said.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the racial ratio of the victims of the death penalty in the US has been striking since the revival of the practice in 1976, with the penalty being disproportionately imposed on ethnic minorities.

Statistics released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice show that, 11 of the 16 executed prisoners in the state of Texas, which is responsible for nearly 40 percent of all executions in the US since 1976, were African American or Hispanic in 2013.

In an interview with Press TV on April 16, 2012, Malcolm X’s grandson, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, said that African-Americans are murdered with impunity in the US because the system is unjust.

This happens because there is institutionalized racism in the United States, he added.

“The United States has more people incarcerated than anywhere else in the world. It has more people incarcerated than China, and China has the most people in the world,” he noted.

Shabazz stated that although a minority of the people of the United States are black, in prisons the majority of the people are black and Hispanic.

Shabazz was beaten to death in Mexico City on May 9, 2013. An autopsy found that the 28-year-old died of deadly blows to the head, face and torso.

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