Tomorrow, the steady stream of stories about Rais Bhuiyan's attempt to save Mark Stroman -- the man who shot Bhuiyan in the face and killed two other men in the days following September 11, 2001 -- will more than likely come to an end. Tomorrow the former stonecutter and white supremacist from Dallas, who was 32 when he shot those men to death and was determined "to retaliate on local Arab Americans," will be put to death by the state of Texas.
There is, of course, the slim, almost infinitesimal chance that the courts might intervene. Not the U.S. Supreme Court; it's already taken a pass. But
thistomorrow morning, a federal judge in Austin will consider Bhuiyan's lawsuit against Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice filed last week, his last-ditch appeal to save the life of the man who tried to kill him. Late Monday, the Texas Attorney General's Office filed to remove the suit from state court to federal court -- a striking turn of events, considering Gov. Rick Perry's insistence that Texas doesn't need D.C. tellin' the state what to do. But according to the notice of removal filed by Greg Abbott and others: "A federal question exists if there appears on the face of the complaint some substantial, disputed question of federal law." So off to federal court they go this morning, with Bhuiyan also having filed a motion for temporary injunction late yesterday.
Today's court proceedings led to the cancellation of scheduled afternoon press conference at SMU, where Bhuiyan was to speak -- and where he was scheduled to be joined by a "juror speaking out about Stroman's death penalty case" about whom we know little at this point. But a press conference would be redundant at this point anyway: Not only were Bhuiyan and Stroman on CBS Evening News last night, but they also appear in a side-by-side Q&A in this morning's New York Times. Writes Stroman:
Mr Rais Bhuiyan, what an inspiring soul...for him to come forward after what ive done speaks Volume's...and has really Touched My heart and the heart of Many others World Wide...Especially since for the last 10 years all we have heard about is How Evil the Islamic faith Can be...its proof that all are Not bad nor Evil.
The legal docs and CBS News video follow.
Update: The BBC also sends word that it too has a piece on Bhuiyan and Stroman today.