HISPANIC inmate to be executed next week - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

HISPANIC inmate to be executed next week

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) _ The media spotlight again will shine _ though less brightly _ here next week as this city endures its second federal execution in eight days.

Juan Raul Garza, 44, a convicted Texas drug runner who killed one man and ordered the deaths of two others he believed were informants, is scheduled to be executed June 19 at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary.

Many residents of this city of 60,000 people seemed unaware of the looming execution.

Jim Montgomery, a retiree who lives near the prison gates, said future executions are unlikely to attract the level of attention that accompanied the final days of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

``I think it's not going to be quite as intense as it is now,'' Montgomery said.

Many abolitionists believe the Garza case better represents their opposition to the death penalty: He is a minority _ Hispanic _ and his crime mirrors countless others that have not resulted in death sentences.

Yet while 1,300 members of the media and 300 protesters descended on Terre Haute for McVeigh's execution Monday, far fewer people are expected to be on hand for Garza's.

At a media briefing last week for Garza's execution, Warden Harley Lappin said only a few news organizations had inquired about procedures for news coverage. Briefings will be held at the nearby prison training center, where there will be limited parking, some of it first-come, first-served.

For the McVeigh coverage, by contrast, television networks and several other large news organizations had 30,000 square feet of space on the sprawling grounds outside the prison _ lots 150 feet wide by 200 feet deep. They brought more than 30 office trailers to use as their base of operations for newscasts and reporting. At least one homeowner across from the prison made $3,500 renting his lawn.

Nancy Bothne, Midwest regional director for Amnesty International in Chicago, said she did not know what attention Garza's case would receive after the intense spotlight on McVeigh.

``It's anti-climatic,'' she said.
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