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The oldest death row inmate in the state of Texas is scheduled to be executed Thursday after the state rejected his final clemency request.

Carl Wayne Buntion, 78, was convicted of murdering a police officer during a traffic stop in June 1990. While an appeals court vacated his original death sentence in 2009, he was sentenced to death once again in 2012 by another jury, according to the Associated Press.

His victim was 37-year-old police officer James Irby. He was survived by his two children, who were 1 and 3 years old at the time, as well as his wife, Maura Irby, who is now 60.

“He was ready to fill out the paperwork and stay home and open a feed store,” Maura said of her husband. “He wanted to be the dad that was there to go to all the ballgames and the father-daughter dances. He was a super guy, the love of my life.”

STUDIES: DEATH PENALTY DISCOURAGES CRIME

In this undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, shows death row inmate Carl Wayne Buntion. Buntion, Texas’ oldest death row inmate, faces execution for killing a Houston police officer nearly 32 years ago during a traffic stop. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

Buntion and his attorneys, David Dow and Jeffrey Newberry, argued his execution would be unconstitutional due to the jury’s reasoning behind deciding on the death penalty.

US CARRIED OUT 11 EXECUTIONS IN 2021, FEWEST SINCE 1998

The jury had argued that Buntion posed a future threat to society. Dow and Newberry argue that has proven not to be the case, and they also argue that carrying out the execution after three decades is unreasonable.

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“This delay of three decades undermines the rationale for the death penalty … Whatever deterrent effect there is diminished by delay,” the attorneys argued.

Buntion will be the first inmate executed in Texas in 2022. He will also be the oldest inmate to be executed in the state since the Supreme Court permitted the death penalty in 1976, according to the AP.

 

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