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The execution of an American, condemned for the murder of his wife, in suspense


A former US police officer, sentenced to death for ordering a hitman to murder his wife, was at heart on Tuesday 10...

A former American policeman, sentenced to death for ordering a hitman to murder his wife, was at the heart of a legal imbroglio on Tuesday, January 10, a few hours before the date scheduled for his execution.

Robert Fratta, 65, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Tuesday night at the Huntsville, Texas penitentiary, but a local judge threw the preparations into turmoil.

Magistrate Catherine Mauzy, seized urgently by several prisoners sentenced to death, prohibited the authorities from using a lethal product

"probably expired"

, likely to inflict

"serious pain" on

them .

The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, however, had barred judges from blocking executions and the scope of its decision was not immediately clear.

Robert Fratta has been behind bars since the death in 1994 of his wife Farah Fratta, shot dead in his garage in the suburbs of Houston.

According to court documents, the couple was going through acrimonious divorce proceedings, including over custody of their three children.

On several occasions, Robert Fratta

"asked friends and acquaintances to kill her or to recommend someone likely to kill her"

, according to these documents.

He had finally obtained the help of a man registered in his sports club, who had then recruited his neighbor to kill Farah Fratta.

According to local media, Robert Fratta paid him $1,000.

"Cruel Punishment"

In 1996, he was sentenced to death after a trial finally canceled in 2007 for formal defect.

The sentence was however confirmed in 2009 during a second trial.

As his execution approached, his lawyers multiplied, in vain, appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States to try to obtain a reprieve.

Robert Fratta and other death row inmates have also taken to court to challenge Texas' use of lethal drugs past their expiration dates.

For them, it violates the US Constitution, which prohibits

“cruel” punishment


It is this appeal that remained pending on Tuesday.

If Robert Fratta does not win his case, he will be the second death row inmate to be executed in the United States in 2023. Texas uses pentobarbital, a drug that prison authorities have difficulty obtaining because laboratories pharmaceutical companies do not want to be associated with the death penalty.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-10

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