The oldest death row inmate in Texas was executed Thursday for the 1990 killing of a police officer, authorities said.
78-year-old Carl Buntion was given a lethal injection at 6:26 p.m. and died at 6:39 p.m., officials said. His last words were an expression of remorse to victim James Irpy’s family members.
“I wanted the Irby family to know one thing: I do have remorse for what I did,” Buntion said. “I pray to God that they get the closure for me killing their father and Ms. Irby’s husband.”
“To all of my friends that stuck with me through all of these years, I am not going to say ‘goodbye,’ just saying ‘so long.’ I am ready to go to Heaven, warden.”
Irby was 37 years old and an 18-year veteran officer when he pulled over the vehicle of then 46-year-old Buntion who then shot him in the face and two more times to the back when he fell.
Buntion’s lawyers David Dow and Jeff Newberry had argued their elderly client was barely able to walk and had spent decades of good behavior in prison.
“Having lived under a sentence of death for over three decades in a state which keeps its death-row prisoners in solitary confinement, Buntion has been punished to a degree exceeding that inflicted on anyone else outside of a very small number of death row prisoners.”
They concluded: “No legitimate purpose for the death penalty would be served by carrying out his execution.”