Stays of Execution 2014
|Date of Scheduled Execution||State||Inmate||Reason for Stay
|15||TX||Rigoberto Avila||Stayed to allow time for appeals.|
|15||TN||Billy Irick||Stayed to allow time to challenge Tennessee’s new one-drug lethal injection protocol. Rescheduled for Oct. 7, 2014.|
|29||MO||Herbert Smulls||Temporarily stayed by the Supreme Court. Update – Stay lifted by Supreme Court without explanation on 1/29, Smulls executed same day.|
|4||DE||Gary Ploof||Stayed pending resolution of a federal habeas corpus appeal filed earlier this year.|
I served in the US Navy with Rigoberto “Robert” Avila, Jr. I lived with him 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for almost four years aboard the USS Nashville (LPD-13). We saw deployments in Operation Sharp Edge (Liberian Revolution), Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Provide Hope (UNITAF Mogadishu, Somalia), as well as drug interdiction operations in the Gulf of Mexico and anti-piracy operations in the Red Sea, Straits of Bab El Mandib, Gulf of Aden, Straits of Hormuz and east coast of Africa. That kind of time in those kinds of circumstances – in confined spaces brings – out every positive and negative character trait in every man.
Not one thing in Robert’s actions revealed anything other than forthrightness, integrity, and trust.
A few weeks ago an old shipmate revealed that one of our’s was on Death row in Texas. I rattled off a dozen names trying to guess before he told me it was Robert. Upon hearing his name, I thought my old friend was pulling my leg. I am a ‘recovered’ hood rat from West Baltimore. I know evil – and it is not Robert.
I stand willing and able to vouch for this man’s character. I am proud to call him my brother-in-arms. I would trust him with my life and the life of my child. He is as rock solid as it gets.