Lopez’s attorney, Henry Kelley, criticized the execution by arguing that his client had been denied due process
The execution took place shortly after 10:00 local time (18:00 GMT) at Arizona State Prison in Florence community, southeast of Phoenix, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a appeal to postpone it.
According to authorities, Lopez stabbed the woman of 59 years 23 times and cut her throat with a knife from his own kitchen, after which Holmes died.
Days later, when he was questioned by police in relation to an incident of sexual assault, Lopez gave details of the murder of Holmes who had not been disclosed to the public.
His lawyers argued in appeals that these details were known in the neighborhood.
Lopez’s attorney, Henry Kelley, criticized the execution by arguing that his client had been denied due process.
“This broken process began in the trial, in which inexperienced lawyers did not provide crucial evidence about the horrible and abusive history of Sammy,” said the lawyer.
Lopez grew up in poverty in a suburb southwest of Phoenix. His mother worked in the fields and his father worked as a driver.
Lopez’s father continually drunk and beat his wife and eight children, until the left. Then a second companion of her mother ran to several of the children of the woman.
Lopez left school in ninth grade and lived in the countryside and robbing houses a cemetery to get high and restore paintings, which his lawyers left him with brain damage.
Lopez became the prisoner number 32 to be executed in Arizona since 1992 and fourth in receiving capital punishment so far this year.
- Arizona inmate to be executed in new open process (heraldonline.com)
- Arizona Inmate to Be Executed in New Open Process (abcnews.go.com)