US oldest Death Row inmate gets execution date after waiting 30 years to die

The USA’s oldest death row in-mate has finally been given a date for his execution – more than 30 years after he was sentenced to die.

Carl Wayne Buntion, 77, has been told he will die on April 21 for the brutal murder of a police officer in 1990.

Buntion, who had an extensive criminal record already, shot and killed Houston police officer James Irby, 37 in June of that year.

Travelling as a passenger, Buntion shot the officer after they were pulled over at a traffic stop.

According to Click2Houston, Buntion exited the car while the driver and Irby were talking and shot him once in the head and twice in the back before being apprehended.

5NBC reports that Buntion was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death the following year.

The culmination of his death sentence has now finally been ordered by a Houston state judge almost 32 years after the murder.

Speaking after the announcement, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said: “He shot a policeman in the head more than 30 years ago, and it is time that he be held accountable for his horrific crime.”

In Texas, the preferred method of execution is by lethal injection.

It’s been a long time coming for Buntion’s sentence after the Court of Criminal Appeals vacated his death sentence in 2009.

This was short-lived though as a jury then returned him to death row in 2012 following a new sentencing trial.

Buntion’s lawyers appealed this decision in October 2021, but this was denied by the US Supreme Court.

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News of Buntion's iminent death has been welcomed by the family of James Irby including his widow Maura Irby.

Speaking to KPRC 2, she said: “I just found out this morning that Carl Buntion is being executed. It’s been 30 years. We’ve been waiting for this.

"I wish James was here to see this. It is good to close the chapter on my husband’s murder. We can now put this away.”

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