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Texas inmate Daniel Lee Lopez got his wish Wednesday when he was executed for striking and killing a police lieutenant with an SUV during a chase more than six years ago.
 
The lethal injection was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from his attorneys, who disregarded Lopez's desire to die and disagreed with lower court rulings that found Lopez was competent to make that decision.

"I hope this execution helps my family and also the victim's family," said Lopez, who spoke quietly and quickly. "This was never meant to be, sure beyond my power. I can only walk the path before me and make the best of it. I'm sorry for putting you all through this. I am sorry. I love you. I am ready. May we all go to heaven."

As the drugs took effect, he took two deep breaths, then two shallower breaths. Then all movement stopped.

The roar of revving motorcycles on the street outside the Huntsville prison, from a group of bikers supporting police, could be heard as Lopez spoke, along with rumbles of intermittent thunder.

He was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. CDT — 15 minutes after the lethal dose began.

Lopez, 27, became the 10th inmate put to death this year in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state. Nationally, he was the 19th prisoner to be executed.

Lopez's "obvious and severe mental illness" was responsible for him wanting to use the legal system for suicide, illustrating his "well-documented history of irrational behavior and suicidal tendencies," attorney David Dow, who represented Lopez, had told the high court. Dow also argued the March 2009 crime was not a capital murder because Lopez didn't intend to kill Corpus Christi Lt. Stuart Alexander.


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