A 44-year-old American man sentenced to death for the murder and rape of a college student in 1996 was executed Thursday by lethal injection in Oklahoma, the prosecutor and prison administration of this central state said.
The rape and murder of Juli Busken, 21, a dance student at the University of Oklahoma, remained unsolved until DNA tests were taken on Anthony Sanchez, following his incarceration in Oklahoma in 2002 for burglary. State police later identified his DNA with that found on the victim, which led to Anthony Sanchez's death sentence in 2006.
The latter has continued to maintain his innocence and had recently blamed the crime on his father, who committed suicide in 2022 and allegedly confessed to having committed it, according to him. But DNA tests carried out on the deceased have invalidated this thesis and Anthony Sanchez's appeals for a stay of execution have been rejected. He was executed Thursday morning at the state penitentiary in the town of McAlester.
Oklahoma resumed executions in 2021 after a six-year moratorium due to failed executions in 2014 and 2015. That of Anthony Sanchez is the third since the beginning of the year. This is the 18th execution in the United States in 2023, all carried out by lethal injection.