Mitesh Patel, the son of Hasmukh Patel, an Indian American convenience store owner in San Antonio, Texas, who was killed in 2004, has asked that the killer of his father be spared.
Patel said of Chris Young, who was 21 when he took part in the 2004 armed robbery that led to his father’s death, that “his execution means that another family will lose a son, and another child will lose a father,” according to a KSAT report.
Young, who was convicted and sentenced to death, said, according to the report, “I didn’t have any appreciation for life.”
Throughout Young’s 12 years on death row, the now 34-year-old former gang member has become a mentor and a model father to his daughters and even took up painting as a hobby, the report said.
He said death row is the reason for his lifestyle changes, it added.
“I don't think I would have gotten over my anger. I would probably be in prison anyway. I would probably be dead,” Young said, according to the report.
More than 23,000 people have signed a petition, hoping to persuade Gov. Greg Abbott to grant Young clemency, KSAT said.
“He understands his actions from 14 years ago weren't right or appropriate, but (if) he's willing to mentor others and break that chain, then I think he deserves to live,” the younger Patel said in the report.
Young hopes to use his past experiences as a way to prevent others from going down the same path, the report said.
The execution is set for July 17.
AP adds from Huntsville, Texas: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has refused to stop the scheduled execution.
Attorneys for Young argued Bexar County prosecutors improperly removed a woman from consideration as a juror at his 2006 trial because her church had a prison ministry. Young's appeals lawyers contended her dismissal was a constitutional violation.
The argument was rejected in an earlier appeal as improper and attorneys renewed their arguments, saying the legal basis of the new appeal wasn't available when they filed their earlier appeal.
The court late on July 10 disagreed, saying the filing was improper.