News Release

Perry Executed 9/11 Hate Crimes Murderer Despite Victim’s Pleas


At Wednesday night’s Republican debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry said (when talking about mandatory vaccines for girls and women) “I will always err on the side of saving lives.” Later in the evening, he drew cheers for his record number of 234 executions, saying “Americans understand justice.”
Video of death penalty exchange.
Full transcript.
RAIS BHUIYAN, (in D.C. Sat. and Sun.) rais01 at
Available for a very limited number of interviews, Bhuiyan was shot in the face at close range after 9/11 by Mark Stroman, an Aryan Brotherhood member, partially blinding him in his right eye. Stroman also killed Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant who was Hindu, and Waqar Hasan, a Muslim born in Pakistan.
Bhuiyan sued Governor Rick Perry in order to stop the execution of Stroman, saying: “I strongly believe what Mark Stroman did was a hate crime because of his ignorance, and he was not capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. Otherwise, he would not have done what he did. … The way my parents raised me, and my Islamic faith teaches me, that he is the best who can forgive easily. And my faith teaches that no one has a right to take another human life. Islam doesn’t allow for hate and killing.”
In a statement written in prison, Stroman says, “Not only do I have all my friends and supporters trying to save my life, but now I have the Islamic community joining in … spearheaded by one very remarkable man named Rais Bhuiyan, who is a survivor of my hate. His deep Islamic beliefs … gave him the strength to forgive the unforgiveable … that is truly Inspiring to me, and should be an example for us all. The hate has to stop, we are all in this world together.” Despite Bhuiyan’s efforts, Stroman was executed on July 20. See interview on Democracy Now.
Also see: “A victim of 9/11 hate crime now fights for his attacker’s life.
Post-9/11 ‘Arab Slayer’ Mark Stroman’s Last Words Offer Message Of Peace
KATE LOWENSTEIN, kelowenstein at
Lowenstein is program director for Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights. She said today: “Rick Perry has it precisely wrong when he says he got applause for carrying out 234 executions because ‘Americans understand justice.’ The fact is that the more Americans understand about the reality of the death penalty — that it costs millions, squanders valuable resources that could be spent on fighting crime that are instead put toward seeking revenge — the less they support the death penalty.
“Governor Perry should be asked why he, who proclaims himself an advocate for victims, just a few months ago proclaimed victims’ rights ‘largely symbolic’ when the victim disagreed with him on the death penalty. So whose rights does he stand for? Not the wrongfully convicted, not the victims who don’t agree with him.”