The last steps
- Professing his innocence to the end, Bob Coulson was executed June 25, 2002. With his biological father, Bob Bennett and step-mother Beth Bennett watching, Bob was asked if he had any last words at 6:14 p.m.
"I'm innocent," he said. "I had absolutely nothing to do with my family's murder."
"I want to thank everyone who has supported me," Bob continued. "I hope they continue the fight. You know who you are. That's all. Thank you, warden."
As Bob made his "continue the fight" comment, Beth Bennett accidentally hit the plexiglass divider between the witnesses and the death chamber.
"I didn't mean to do that," a visibly shaken Bennett said to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice officer in the room.
As the fatal dose of chemicals was started at 6:14 p.m., Bob looked at his father and step-mother and mouthed, "I love you."
Glancing quickly at the room where members of the victim's family are usually situated Bob said, "You know you planted that evidence, Dale Atchetee. You know it and I know it."
Atchetee, a former Houston police detective who worked on the case, was in the room.
As Bob drifted into unconsciousness, Joe Vitela, Polunsky Unit Chaplain said, "Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us."
Vitela and James Morgan, rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Huntsville, continued to recite the Litany of the Passion. Once the litany was completed, Morgan said, "Bob, may the blessings of God the father be upon you."
"God forgive us," said Melodee Smith, a Houston Episcopal minister and one of Bob's attorneys.
Bob was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.
- June 25, 4:30 pm - Bob was turned down by the Supreme Court.
- The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected Bob Coulson's requests for a reprieve, a commutation and a conditional pardon. Vote on each was 17-0.
- Letter by Mary Ann Starks to the Governor of Texas - June 20, 2002
- The ACLU has drafted a clemency letter for Bob Coulson.
- Amnesty International Urgent Action
- Please read a letter Bob sent to the Judge who controled his execution date.
- Supplemental Application for Conditional Pardon filed
- We were finally able to get an Episcopal priest -Jim Morgan, Rector of St. Stephens, Huntsville, in to see Bob. He celebrated communion with Bob on June 19 and they had a good 2 hour visit.
- NEWS CONFERENCE on Wednesday, June 19, at 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Livingston, Texas, 120 S. Point Lane, 877.525.3548
- See Robert Anthony Phillips report: What about Bob?
- The courts blocked Bob's last appeal without even letting it in to look at it so his appeals were over. This left only the conditional pardon request he was filing the first week in June. Some good news was that the biological dad of one of the victims (& Bobs biological dad) had agreed to support Bob's request for a new trial because he knows Bob's trial was not fair.
- Bob had decided to request a “conditional pardon”, rather then a full pardon which would require his immediate release. Bob argued his innocence as well as all of the problems that happened in his trial and appeal as reasons why he should have been granted this conditional pardon. What would haven happened if this pardon would have been granted was that Bob’s current conviction would have been gone and Bob would have agreed (here is the condition) to be retried on these charges. Bob was taking the risk of being convicted again but was willing to constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial and a fair appeal he has never had. Bob would have not been immediately released if this pardon would have been granted, he would have been sent back to Houston to await a new trial. Basically Bob would have started back as square one like he had just been arrested on these charges. If this pardon would have been granted, it would have been just like if the appeal courts had reversed Bob’s conviction and ordered that the State retry him on the charges, only rather then the courts doing it the Governor and Board of Pardons and Paroles would have been doing it. Bob would have had another trial but this time the state would have not been allowed to use the evidence they made up last time. Bob would have also been allowed to use all of the evidence the state withheld from him in the first trial, evidence that attacks some of the case against Bob. Bob would also have been able to use all of the new evidence that has been discovered since his first trial. Since Bob was innocent he would have preferd to be released but felt he had a better chance of getting a conditional pardon and therefor he asked for one.”
- The Supreme Court has refused to look at Bob's appeal
- The State of Texas has set Bob an Execution Date for June the 25th, 2002
- The Court of Criminal Appeals refused to look at the "Writ of Mandamus" on April 17th, 2002.
- A "Writ of Mandamus" was filed on the visiting judge issue on March 17th, 2002