Richard Cartwright (murderer)

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Richard Cartwright, taken on the day of his execution.

Richard Michael "Rich" Cartwright (February 11, 1970 – May 19, 2005)[1][2] was a Death Row inmate and activist who was executed by the state of Texas for the stabbing and shooting of 37 year old Nick Moraida during a robbery in Corpus Christi on August 1, 1996.[1]

Cartwright became well known with the Abolishment of the Death Penalty Movement[3] after contributing to a series of articles known as Uncensored from Texas Death Row.[4] After his execution, Clinton Lee Young,[5] presently on Texas Death Row, took over the Uncensored from Texas Death Row articles.

Cartwright never denied being a part of the robbery which resulted in Moraida's death, however, he claimed innocence[6] of the shooting and stabbing of Moraida throughout his life on Death Row. Richard Cartwright, Dennis Hagood and Kelly Overstreet hatched a plan to rob a gay man by posing as male prostitutes. They thought such a victim would be an easy target because he would be less apt to report the robbery to police. They met 37 year old Nick Moraida after he pulled up in a small black sports car. The trio invited Moraida to go drinking with them at a remote gulfside park. When they reached the secluded area, Cartwright pulled out a gun and said, “This is a robbery. Put your hands on the cement [wall].” At the same time, Overstreet held a knife to Moraida’s neck. Their plan turned deadly when Moraida refused to give up and tried to flee. One of the men tried to stab Moraida but could not kill him. Cartwright then shot him in the back with a .38 caliber pistol. Hagood was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Overstreet was convicted and sentenced to 50 years imprisonment. Both testified against Cartwright. Death penalty proponents frequently argue that Cartwright confessed to the murder when he apologized to the family of the victim during his last statement. However, his supporters who knew him on a personal level, including his mother, Irene, continue to defend his innocence, stating that he never denied being a part of the robbery which resulted in Moraida's death. Cartwright had also been a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Several months after Cartwright's death, his supporters still claim he had an effect on the abolishment movement against the death penalty, including among his fellow inmates.[7]

For his last meal, Cartwright requested fried chicken, a cheeseburger, onion rings, french fries, bacon, sausage, cheesecake, and cinnamon rolls.[8] When asked if he had a final statement, he said:

Yes, I do. I just want to thank all my friends and family who gave me support these past eight years. I want to apologize to the victim's family for the pain I caused them. And to everyone at the Polunsky Unit, just keep your heads up and stay strong.[9]

After his final statement, the lethal injection was started and Cartwright was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Offender Information. Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  2. ^ a b Richard Cartwright. The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  3. ^ Capital Punishment Information. Capital Defense Weekly (2005-05-05). Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
  4. ^ Richard Cartwright - Uncensored from Death Row at the Wayback Machine (archived February 1, 2007). Archived from the original on 2007-02-01. Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
  5. ^ Clinton Young at the Wayback Machine (archived March 12, 2007). Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
  6. ^ In Memoriam of Richard Michael Cartwright executed on May 19, 2005. deathrow.at. Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
  7. ^ Richard Cartwright Memorial. Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
  8. ^ Texas Last Meal - Richard Cartwright. Dead Man Eating (2005-05-22). Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
  9. ^ Last Statement. Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.