Man shot by condemned killer asks Austin judge to stop execution

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sameeh55, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. By Steven Kreytak | Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 12:15 PM

    Rais Bhuiyan said today that the only way he will get past the horrible psychological impact of being shot in the face while working at a Dallas convenience store in a hate crime following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is to sit down and talk with his attacker.

    But that attacker, Mark Stroman, who killed two other immigrants during the crime spree that Bhuiyan survived, is scheduled for execution this evening.

    This morning, a lawyer for Bhuiyan asked U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin to temporarily halt the execution to allow Bhuiyan a chance to speak with Stroman. Yeakel said he would rule on the request by early this afternoon.

    “A lot of things I have to know from his mouth, to look into his eyes and to know his side of things,” Bhuiyon said after Yeakel adjourned court. “The trauma he caused, the mental anguish from the last nine years, it needs to come to an end.”

    Bhuiyan, a 37-year-old from Bangladesh who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was working as a convenience store clerk Dallas in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks when he was shot by Stroman, who according to testimony at his trial was a white supremacist who said he was out for revenge.

    Stroman also fatally shot Waqar Hasan in his Dallas convenience store, and Vsudev Patel, a gas station attendant in nearby Mesquite. Both were immigrants — Patel from India and Hasan from Pakistan.

    Bhuiyan, who works in information technology at a travel website, has said that his Muslim faith calls on him to forgive Stroman and he has previously said he wants to break the cycle of violence and spare Stroman’s life. He said he believes that Stroman was a product of his upbringing and has changed since the attack.

    He sued Gov. Rick Perry and Texas prison and parole officials this month in state District Court in Travis County claiming that his rights as a crime victim have been violated. Particularly, he said, he was never told that he the prison system offered mediation to victims of crime who want to speak with an offender.

    Bhuiyan’s lawyer, Khurrum Wahid of Florida, said in court today that Bhuiyan only learned about these type of meetings in June and has been trying to arrange one since.

    Attorneys with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, which represents Perry and the other defendants, moved the case to federal court.

    Wahid told Yeakel that victim offender mediations are often profound events that allow victims of crime the ability to move on with their lives.

    “Mr. Buiyon was shot 10 years ago and has not yet felt that closure,” Wahid said. “When he found out about this (mediation), he felt absolutely compelled to talk to Mr. Stroman.”

    Yeakel questioned whether he has the ability to halt an execution because of a pending civil lawsuit that does not involve the condemned man.

    “Your job, judge, is to protect Mr. Buiyon’s civil rights,” Wahid said.

    Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Burton argued that Buiyon was made aware of the potential for mediation years ago and brought his claims too late. She also contended that Yeakel does not have the ability to interfere with an execution order.

    Click here for a Statesman story in which Buiyon explains the crime and its effect on his life and his decision to sue.