Victim pleads for Texas death row inmate's life

On Wednesday, Texas plans to execute Mark Stroman, who killed two people and wounded another, in a rage over the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

CBS News correspondent Don Teague reports that one man is trying to stop the execution and he's the last person you'd expect.

A surveillance video captured the shooting rampage in the days following the September 11th terror attacks. Mark Stroman, a white supremacist, wanted revenge. So he went to three Dallas area convenience stores and shot three clerks whom he thought were Muslims.

"I acted out of rage, love and stupidity," Stroman says.

Two of his victims died. Stroman was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

"It's sad, my split second of hate and anger after 9/11 has caused many people lifetimes of pain and I regret that to this day," Stroman says.

Stroman will be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday, unless Rais Bhuiyan has his way.

"Please show mercy. Please spare the life of Mark Stroman," says Bhuiyan.

He's campaigning to commute Stroman's sentence to life without parole.

"I'm praying (to) God to spare his life, to give him a chance. We all make mistakes as human beings," Bhuiyan says.

What sets this death penalty opponent apart, is that Bhuiyan is the sole survivor of Stroman's killing spree.

"I didn't' know if I was still alive. I looked at the floor and I saw blood pouring out like a faucet," Bhuiyan says.

Gunshot wounds left him blind in his right eye. Three dozen shotgun pellets are still embedded in his face. But Bhuiyan says his Muslim faith teaches forgiveness, and that forgiveness brings "peace, passion and healing in our society, in our country."

"For this man to step up with his faith and show complete forgiveness is remarkable," Stroman says.

It is both remarkable and unprecedented, the first time in Texas that a victim of a convicted murderer has asked for clemency. But so far, all pleas have been denied, and Stroman has lost every legal appeal.

Mark Stroman doesn't expect the pleas for clemency to spare his life, but says when he is executed here in Texas, he'll die a changed man.

"I've come from a person with hate embedded into him into a person with a lot of love and understanding for all races," Stroman says.

Bhuiyan says that response is the point of his pleas.

"We have to break the cycle of this hate and violence," Bhuiyan says.

Bhuiyan is now suing Texas, claiming his rights as a victim were ignored. It's his last chance to stop the execution of the man who tried to kill him.

  • Don Teague

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