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Oldest Death Row Inmate Finally Given Execution Date After 32 Years

Abbi Murray

| Last updated 

Oldest Death Row Inmate Finally Given Execution Date After 32 Years

The oldest inmate on death row in the United States has finally been told the date of his execution following a 32 year wait. 

Carl Wayne Buntion, 77, has been told he will die on 21 April as punishment for the brutal murder of a police officer back in 1990. 

The offender, who had been on parole for just six weeks, shot and killed Texan police officer James Irby at a traffic stop in 1990.

Prior to this case, Buntion had an extensive criminal record consisting of 13 previous felony convictions. 

Credit: Harris County District Attorney's Office
Credit: Harris County District Attorney's Office

According to Click2Houston, Buntion was travelling as a passenger in a car that was pulled over by the police. 

While the driver was conversing with Officer Irby, Buntion exited the car and shot him three times.

He proceeded to shoot at the back-up before running away, where he was soon found in a nearby building. 

He was swiftly arrested and convicted of capital murder – the states most serious offence – which carries the death penalty.  

Officer Irby left behind a wife and two children, who were aged just three and one when their father was murdered. 

Now, after 32 years, Buntion’s sentence will finally be carried out, as his death has been ordered by a Houston state judge. 

District Attorney, Kim Ogg, said: “He shot a policeman in the head more than 30 years ago, and it is time that he be held accountable for his horrific crime. 

“He robbed Officer Irby of his life and deprived the Irby family of a lifetime of memories with him; it is time for them to have justice.” 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The state of Texas still holds capital punishment as a legal penalty, with the lethal injection being the preferred method. 

Back in 2009, Buntion’s death sentence was vacated by the Court of Criminal Appeals. 

However, this was quickly turned-over by a new jury, who returned him to death row in 2012. 

A further appeal was attempted by Buntion’s lawyers in October 2021, but this was denied by the US Supreme Court, and thus marked the end of this incredibly troublesome 32-year ordeal. 

Irby’s widow, Maura Irby, shared the following statement after the news of Buntion’s sentence this week: “I just found out this morning that Carl Buntion is being executed.  

“It’s been 30 years. We’ve been waiting for this. I wish James was here to see this.  

“It is good to close the chapter on my husband’s murder. We can now put this away.” 

Featured Image Credit: Texas State Prison Service

Topics: US News, Crime, News

Abbi Murray
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