Rais Bhuiyan Goes International In His Attempt to Save the Life of Man Who Tried to Kill Him

Categories: Crime
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Rais Bhuiyan
Twice we've written about Rais Bhuiyan, who, on September 21, 2001, was working behind the counter of a Pleasant Grove Texaco station when a man with a shotgun entered the store and shot him in the face. Bhuiyan, who was 27 at the time, thought he was being robbed. He wasn't: Mark Stroman, a Stephenville man then 22, was a white supremacist who would later claim his sister was killed in the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. He wasn't there to take anything, except the man's life. He was there solely "to retaliate on local Arab Americans," as Stroman would later put it.

Bhuiyan lived, without use of his right eye and with dozens of pieces of shrapnel still in his skull, but he was not Stroman's sole victim: Dead were Waqar Hasan, a Pakistani father of four who was gunned down on September 15 while working in southeast Dallas local convenience store, and Vasudev Patel, an Indian Hindu murdered one week later at a Shell station on Big Town Boulevard. And for their murders Stroman will be executed on July 20, after the Supreme Court declined to review his case last month following the Fifth Court of Appeals decision not to stay his execution. Stroman's strongest advocate is one of his victims -- Bhuiyan, who, with Hasan's family's support, is trying to save the man's life. "By executing him now," Bhuiyan said during an appearance at SMU's Perkins School of Theology last month, "we are losing everything."

Bhuiyan has now taken his case overseas: This morning, the U.K. Independent has this lengthy profile of Bhuiyan, who is in England meeting with human-rights organization Reprieve in the hopes that their attorneys might be able to make a case for saving Stroman. But he and Rick Halperin, director of the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program, know that chances are slim to non-existent, because, after all, this is Texas.
As he went through seemingly endless rounds of surgery, Mr Bhuiyan could have been torn up with the same kind of hatred that drove Stroman to try and kill him. Instead he vowed to do something with his life by helping others. During a trip to Mecca two years ago, he felt it was Stroman who needed his help and so began his campaign to save him from the execution chamber.

For clemency to be granted, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has to vote in favour by a simple majority. The final say will then be down to Governor Rick Perry. Yet the parole board has recommended clemency only once in the course of 231 Texas executions over the past 10 years. Even then Mr Perry turned it down.

"If the board recommends clemency and Perry grants it, it would be a major paradigm shift," says Dr Rick Halperin, a veteran anti-death penalty campaigner from Dallas. "If they don't then it's going to raise serious questions about what is the nature of clemency when the victims of a crime, the survivor of a crime, don't want this to happen."

Mr Bhuiyan agrees: "Why do they even bother to keep the word clemency in the justice system if every time it is ignored?" he asks. "What is the point of having this word if it doesn't exist?"
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20 comments
Angrywhiteguy
Angrywhiteguy

Yeah, I would support the end of the death penalty if we gave every one of the mutherfuckers life in a pound 'em in the ass prison. Death is an easy way out for these scum.

Fuck the murderous bastard. Amazing how they all find Jesus right before they go to hell.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Mr. Bhuiyan doesn't have even the slimmest chance of success in saving Stroman's life, but what a great example he's setting for the rest of us.

Linda Meakins
Linda Meakins

I am a friend of both Mark Stroman and Rais Bhuiyan. I can tell you catergoricaly in answer to some of the questions raised by you 'not as Christianlike as you make out haters', that Mark Stroman reformed years ago and has had true remorse for what he did. The families of the victims do not want Mark Stroman to die and feel that will only bring more grief and perpetuate the cycle of hate. Mark has helped many people in his contact with them by letter from all over the world. People that were struggling with life with illnesses and depression. They have been uplifted by Marks letters and care for him very much, they do not want him to die. A retired Prosecution Attorney supports him and has become a friend of his,an Israeli Film Director, who went onto Death Row to make an unbiased Documentary about hate crimes, has come to like and respect him and feels as I do that he would make from within prison walls an excellent Councillor for Young Offenders, or for Drug Addiction, he is a powerful message for reform as has exceptional communication skills, talks from the heart and has seen men take their last walk... Are you good people also aware that the 'untrialled' 3 drug cocktail they are using to execute people is not working as it should. The blood is literally boiling in the persons body, while they remain conscious and it takes 7 minutes of being in severe agony to die! They are seen by independent witnesses, opening their mouths trying to speak, convulsing and trying to raise from the gurney, a recent report from a Doctor states they die in agony. Oh they deserve it you say? What about the countless innocent people on Death Row Texas, that are there because of your 'law of parties'. They die like this, infront of wives and daughters and their sons! If you as a person condone this happening, you are as much as a murderer as any person that is sitting on Death Row Texas convicted of that crime. I say Shame on you Texas Judicial System and the people that condone this practice, Shame on you. This is 2011, we are suppose to have evolved as a human race, this is not the f--k--g Dark Ages!!

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Sorry Friend but this guy paid full price for his ticket to the death house .

Carl Jackson
Carl Jackson

Has there been any update on the other family?  I remembered the Patel family was happy  with the verdict when it happened but do they still hold the same position after the Hasan family and Bhuiyan are asking for clemency?

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

Pssst. September 21, 2011 hasn't happened yet. Fix the date.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

The ideal scenario would be for Mr Bhuiyan to continue to press his case and make a fine example of himself as true humanitarian, but for Stroman to be put to death anyway. The planet's too small for rodents like him, it really is what he deserves, Bhuiyan's wishes or not,  and it might just expose Perry to a few people who don't already know he's a completely phony Christian who only talks the talk but can't walk the walk. 

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Im more and more amazed at Mr. Bhuiyan every time I read about him. I've said it before and i'll say it again: This man is more "Christ-like" in his forgiveness than many Christians ive met in my life, including some who post on here. I respect this man for taking on this cause.

Also, for those who hear the word "clemency" and think its a free pass, it isnt.  This means Mr. Stroman will never walk out of a prison, he'll spend the rest of his natural life there, more than likely he'll be rolled out on a gurney and buried in a plot.

U4ea50
U4ea50

Wow. First, I admire Mr. Bhuiyan. I have to wonder has Strohman shown any remorse? Does he still maintain his white supremacist stance? Regardless, Mr. Bhuiyan is amazing. I am ambivalent about the death penalty. In theory, I am against it. In practice, there are some I want to see get eliminated.

Stop and Listen
Stop and Listen

Every time you update this story, I'm humbled to learn a good lesson from a very good man. And although I usually drive somewhat right of center, his point about "clemency" is devastatingly on target.

Jay
Jay

The thing about the death penalty, those murderers who receive it...never murder again. Ever. Not in prison, not on parole. Mr. Stroman has you and others convinced he's now an asset to society. He is not an "extrodinary and unique human being" as you wrote on the TCADP blog. He's expertly playing the role you and others require him to play to earn your efforts to save his miserable life. Certainly if you can help have his sentence commuted to life, your next step will be to demand parole or amnesty. You even lamented in your TCADP post, "the State of Texas will never actually release Mark Stroman, he has become a political pawn, Obama’s muslim lovers card to popularity." Really? Political pawn?

There are not "countless" innocent people on death row in Texas, despite what the media reports. There have been several exonerations over the years, which proves the system of appeals works. There also is no proof Texas has ever executed an innocent convict. I too would like to do away with the death penalty. If your friend Mark, and others like him, would stop their cold-blooded slaughter and raping, we wouldn't need the death penalty.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

WOW for being such a bunch of Dumb ass of Blood lusting Southern Fried REDNECK TEXANS  We sure seem to be  standing together to equally protect under the law OUR OWN even if they don't share our skin color worship the way do or weren't born here . At least I gather from the story they weren't born here.

As for how he goes ?

I guess he picked the wrong state to go on a killing spree .

scottindallas
scottindallas

sure as hell didn't.  It's gonna cost 5-7 times more to kill him than it would to let him rot in jail.  I know you made a clever there, but there's far more to the story than that.  That kind of thoughtless outburst used to be punished in school.

scottindallas
scottindallas

our budgets are too strained to sate your desire for these dramatic stagings for you.  It costs 5-7 times more to have the death penalty trial, death penalty sentencing and death penalty reviews, than it does to incarcerate him, feed him and give him basic health care.  I appreciate my Bhuiyan's humanity, but I don't think appealing to the humanity of people too cynical to oppose the death penalty, to consider the huge financial cost.  It seems ironic, but it damned expensive to carry out these big shows for the Larry Craig's of the GOP.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Per The Independent: "According to Stroman's supporters, the heavily-tattooed former stone cutter has come full circle – from a hate-filled supremacist who murdered people purely because of their skin colour, to a remorseful penitent desperate to make amends for what he has done."

From Stroman's website: "I have destroyed my victim’s families as well as my own. Out of pure anger and stupidity I did some things to some men from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia - and now I sit on Death Row awaiting execution. And by no means am I proud of what I have done."

http://www.executionchronicles...

scottindallas
scottindallas

If we didn't waste money killing people, we could afford to lock up 4-6 more people for life, for every we kill.  Your idea makes sense in the abstract, but you make a good argument for not abrogating the appeals/review process, therefore, it's an inextricable reality that we can incarcerate for life for 1/5-1/7th the cost of the trial to determine whether a case is a death penalty case, the trial, with extra due process, the sentencing, and the reviews that are part of your modest proposal.

scottindallas
scottindallas

that could've come straight from "The Stranger"

Jay
Jay

"And by no means am I proud of what I have done." -Stroman

Well I'm glad we got that confirmed. He's not proud. Funny how these reprobates only find religion and "change" once they're caught, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated. And Stroman has supporters? Really? Did we run out of actual human beings in need of support?

Jay
Jay

The problem with life without parole are two fold. First, a convict with a no parole life sentence knows he can basically kill any guard or inmate, without any real consequences. Second, prison sentences are subject to the political whims of the government. Hell, the president can commute the sentence of anyone in any prison in the US. And courts can change "life without parole" into "40 years," or "time served." Keep in mind that Charles Manson, originally sentenced to death, has a parole hearing in California every few years.

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