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Texas To Execute Ivan Cantu Despite Doubts About His Guilt

Texas is scheduled to execute Ivan Cantu on Wednesday evening for the murder of his cousin and his cousin’s fiancée despite recent evidence raising questions about whether he is guilty or not.

Cantu has received support from Texans, celebrities and faith leaders who have called for a closer look at the case after a key witness admitted to lying on the stand and being under the influence of drugs.

As of Wednesday morning, Cantu had run out of legal options, according to a report by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Cantu’s clemency petition on Monday, and on Tuesday both the state’s highest criminal court and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his last-minute requests for a stay of execution.

In 2001, a Collin County jury sentenced Cantu to death for the Nov. 4, 2000, murders of his cousin, James Mosqueda, and his cousin’s girlfriend, Amy Kitchen.

Since then, Cantu has maintained his innocence and has received overwhelming support. A petition to spare Cantu’s life gathered more than 140,000 signatures. The petition asked Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis to withdraw the execution date.

Cantu also received support from public figures such as social media influencer Kim Kardashian and actors Martin Sheen and Jane Fonda.

Some of the jurors who helped put Cantu on death row also called for a reconsideration when they learned that a key witness had lied.

Prosecutors used testimony from Cantu’s fiancée, Amy Boettcher, and her brother, Jeff Boettcher, to build a case against Cantu. But there were certain irregularities in Amy’s testimony regarding a stolen watch and bloody jeans that allegedly belonged to Cantu.

When Amy died in 2021, her brother called investigators and told them he had lied about Cantu hiring him to clean up after the murders to protect his sister. He also admitted that he was using drugs at the time of the trial and that his testimony wasn’t reliable.

Jeff Calhoun, the jury foreman in the 2001 trial, told the Texas Tribune that when he learned that Jeff Boettcher had lied to the jury, he decided the case should be reconsidered.

Writing in the Austin American-Statesman on Monday, Calhoun said he felt fooled by Boettcher and that the trial was a fabrication.

“I am a proud Texan, conservative, and strongly support the direction our governor has taken in upholding the standards and freedom we Texans enjoy,” Calhoun wrote. “In full respect, I ask Governor Abbott, that you hand me back the document I signed that confirmed the jury’s decision, and delay the execution of Ivan Cantu so further examination can be conducted. This one is unfortunately flawed and therefore incomplete.”

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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