AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Less than a week before a convicted killer is scheduled for execution, one of his victim’s is suing the governor in effort to save the life of the man who tried to take his.
“Please do the right thing, save a human life, please,” Rais Bhuiyan said from the steps of the Travis County Courthouse, Thursday.
Bhuiyan, a devote Muslim, begged for mercy for Mark Stroman, a death row inmate who shot him in 2001, leaving him partially blind.
“Please, listen to my request and lower Mark’s punishment from death to life in prison,” he said, “If the Governor of Texas and the Board of Pardons and Parole can listen to the victims when they want revenge, why can they not listen when the victims are asking for mercy?”
Stroman was convicted of killing an Islamic man in the months following the September 11, 2001 attacks, but according to police, he also killed a second man and shot Bhuiyan, who was working at a convenience store in Pleasant Grove.
All the victims were from India and Pakistan.
“September 11th did a horrible thing not just to the U.S. but to the world, this is a time we can take a new narrative, a narrative of forgiveness, compassion, tolerance and healing,” Bhuiyan said. “I never hated him, I was never angry at him, rather I understand what he did was out of ignorance.”
Stroman is schedule to die by lethal injection on July 20. In a last ditch effort to stop the execution, Bhuiyan is suing Governor Rick Perry and other state officials.
According to the lawsuit, Bhuiyan claims Perry violated his rights as a crime victim by ignoring his requests to meet with Stroman for mediation.
“I strongly believe Mark Stroman is a different person,” he said, “I believe if Mark is given a chance to live, he will become a spokesperson in raising awareness for hate crimes.”
In an interview with CBS 11 last week, Stroman said he was a changed man and apologized for the pain he caused.
“There is a lesson of forgiveness for him to step forward, after I tried to take his life. For him to try to save mine, that states volumes.”
“He is another human being like me, and if given the chance I would definitely give him a hug to show him I have nothing against him at this moment,” Bhuiyan said, “I forgave Mark Stroman several years back. Let’s break the cycle of hate and violence.”