Will Texas Ignore Victim's Rights?

Update: Despite the efforts of Rais and Amnesty activists to stay the execution of Mark Stroman, he was executed last night by the state of Texas. But there is more work to be done in the fight against the death penalty. Learn more and take action on our website.

Mark Stroman is set to be executed in Texas on July 20, despite the best of efforts of his one surviving victim to try to spare his life.  As readers of this blog will know, Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim from Bangladesh, was shot and left for dead during Stroman’s series of attacks on Middle Eastern looking men after September 11, 2001. Bhuiyan’s efforts to halt the execution now include a lawsuit against the Lone Star State alleging that his rights as a victim have been violated.


What We Can Learn From Rais Bhuiyan

Rais Bhuiyan is challenging stereotypes about “Muslim radicalization” every day.

You may have read about Rais on this blog before, or even participated in our online chat, but the importance of his story to our larger work fighting prejudice in a post 9-11 world can’t be overstated.

Just ten days after the September 11 attacks Mark Stroman walked into the gas station where Rais Bhuiyan was working and shot him point blank in the face with a shotgun cartridge.

Against all odds Mr. Bhuiyan survived the attack but Waqar Hasan and Vasudev Patel were both killed by Stroman in similar incidents in which the self-styled ‘Arab slayer’ sought ‘revenge’ for Al Qaeda’s assault on New York and Washington by targeting residents of his small corner of Texas with darker skin than his own.


Live Facebook Chat With 9/11 Hate-Crime Victim On The Death Penalty

Rais Bhuiyan

Update: Thanks to everyone who participated in our Facebook chat! If you weren’t able to make it, the transcript of the chat is now available.

Just ten days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Mark Stroman went on a shooting spree in Dallas, Texas targeting anyone who appeared to be Middle Eastern.

In the end, two men were left dead and a third man named Rais Bhuiyan would live to fight back.

For one of the two murders, the state of Texas sentenced Stroman to death. His execution date is next month on July 20.

But there’s a catch: Rais is now fighting to save the life of Mark Stroman — the man who tried to kill him. Rais’ message:

“I strongly believe executing him is not a solution. We will just simply lose a human life without dealing with the root cause, which is hate…”

Rais Bhuiyan will be joining us on Facebook to answer your questions on his mission to stop the cycle of killing.

Brian Evans, Amnesty’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaigner will also be participating to answer your questions about capital punishment in the US and beyond.


9-11, The Death Penalty, And Breaking The Cycle Of Violence

While states like Georgia have worked tirelessly to switch drugs so they can resume killing their prisoners, and while many celebrate the “justice” they see in the killing of Osama bin Laden, something radically different is happening in – of all places – Dallas, Texas.

Shortly after the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, a man named Mark Stroman roamed the Dallas area committing a series of hate crimes that in his mind constituted retaliation. He murdered two men he thought were Middle Eastern (one was a Hindu from India the other a Muslim from Pakistan) and attempted to kill a third, a Muslim from Bangladesh named Rais Bhuiyan.

For the two murders, the state of Texas sentenced him to death, and he is now scheduled to be executed on July 20. Yet more killing. But Rais Bhuiyan (who is blind in his right eye because of the shot that was meant to kill him) is opposed to the execution and is campaigning to stop it. He has the support of the Dallas Morning News which wrote in its Sunday editorial:

We wish to give that campaign voice. It delivers a potent message to a nation still torn by the loss of 9/11. It resists the cycle of revenge that doesn’t stop until someone has the courage to say enough.

As Bhuiyan himself said a few days earlier: “… hate doesn’t bring any good solution to people. At some point we have to break the cycle of violence. It brings more disaster.”

Exactly. Enough.