My son, Richard Cartwright, was a very special person. He was beautiful in both mind and soul. He loved his family, especially his 8 year old daughter, Ricki, and very much wanted to be here for her as much as he possibly could. Richard was not guilty of the crime he died for. I believe this with my whole heart, not because he is my son, but because of the evidence, or lack there of. But nonetheless, Richard was executed by the State of Texas on May 19, 2005.

The lack of evidence was astounding, and Rich was convicted on the testimony of his co-defendants, both of which received a “deal” for testifying against Richard at his trial. Yet when one of the co-defendants, Kelly Overstreet, changed his testimony and admitted he lied right before Rich was executed, the prosecutor stated that Kelly Overstreet’s testimony was “inherently unreliable.” Yet it was this same man’s testimony that sent Richard to his death.

Further, there was no physical evidence to link Richard to the crime scene. Footprints of both co-defendants and the victim were found, but none of Rich’s was found. The gun was never recovered and there was no blood or other evidence found to link Richard to the actual murder. He admitted being there, driving the truck, but always maintained that he was away from the victim and the two co-defendants when the murder occurred. He took off in the truck when he heard gun shots, and both co-defendants told him they would get even with him for leaving them behind. I guess that part of their plan really worked.

But that is not what this is about. This is about the execution of my son. At 6:16 p.m., on May 19th, he was pronounced dead. The world lost a courageous fighter, the men on Death Row lost a true and loyal friend, his daughter lost her wonderful Daddy, I lost the best son a mother could ever want, his sister lost her only brother, his Dad lost his only son, and his special friends lost his love and friendship. He was always there for us, guiding, chiding, and loving us through every step of our lives. Until the end, he was strong in his faith and in his love for God, his friends and family, and of life. He never quit.