The sound of justice: Dozens of cops rev their motorbike engines outside execution chamber so cop-killer can hear them as he's put to death by lethal injection 20 years after murdering officer in adult bookstore heist (3 Pics)

Dozens of uniformed police gathered and revved their motorcycle engines outside a prison where a man was executed for killing an officer.
Robert Jennings was sentenced to death for the July 1988 slaying of Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore in Houston, Texas.  
The 61-year-old, who spent 30 years in jail, was pronounced dead at 6.33 pm on Wednesday, 18 minutes after the drug was administered.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Elston Howard's mother Era and Jennings' partner Evelyn Staus were among the witnesses present at Huntsville Unit before Jennings received a lethal injection. 
Outside on the street, dozens of uniformed police gathered and revved their motorcycle engines, sending up a noise that echoed into the death chamber. 

 Dozens of uniformed police gathered and revved their motorcycle engines outside a prison where a man was executed for killing an officer.
Robert Jennings was sentenced to death for the July 1988 slaying of Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore in Houston, Texas.  
The 61-year-old, who spent 30 years in jail, was pronounced dead at 6.33pm on Wednesday, 18 minutes after the drug was administered.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Elston Howard's mother Era and Jennings' partner Evelyn Staus were among the witnesses present at Huntsville Unit before Jennings received a lethal injection. 
Outside on the street, dozens of uniformed police gathered and revved their motorcycle engines, sending up a noise that echoed into the death chamber. 
 Jennings  (pictured) was the first inmate put to death this year both in the U.S. and Texas

Houston Police officers also saluted to officer Elston Howard's mother and family as they walked into the Huntsville Unit. 
As witnesses filed into the death chamber, Jennings asked a chaplain standing next to him if he knew the name of the slain officer. 
The chaplain didn't respond, and a prison official then told the warden to proceed with the punishment.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Jennings said in his final moments: 'Just briefly, to my friends and family, it was a nice journey. 
'To the family of the police officer, I hope this finds you peace, and be well and stay safe. Enjoy life's moments because we never get them back.'
He paused, then called out in a sing-song voice to his partner 'life-mate, see you at the crossroads.' 
When asked about the 30-plus years between the crime and the punishment, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he thought 'justice delayed is, to an extent, an injustice continued.
'But when the state takes a life, there has to be a process,' Acevedo said. 
'In this case, the day of reckoning is here. It's a solemn occasion. For us it's a celebration of a life well-lived by Officer Howard. We're a family. That's why we're here.'
In his final weeks, Jennings had decided he didn't even want a reprieve. He barely slept the night before.
He'd rather be dead, he told a loved one, than stuck on death row indefinitely with no end in sight, his partner Evelyn Staus told the Houston Chronicle. 
'You get to a point where you accept whatever happens and he's at that point,' Staus said. 
Jennings is the first inmate put to death this year both in the U.S. and in Texas, which is the nation's busiest capital punishment state.
'Justice has been rendered and my family can finally have the closure we deserve,' Michael Agee, Howard's nephew and a current Houston officer, said after watching Jennings die.
Jennings lost a last-ditch appeal pending in the U.S. Supreme Court in which he argued that he suffered 'an improbable succession of bad lawyering.'
In another appeal, he asked for a stay because the jury didn't properly consider reasons to give him a lesser sentence, such as his low IQ and show of remorse. 

Jennings was put to death in the execution chamber in Huntsville, Texas (seen above)

In J988, Jennings and a friend went to the nearby Stop-N-Go and bought a six-pack in Houston.
At the time, Jennings was still on parole from a sentence for his second aggravated robbery bid. 
But the then 30-year-old and his friend, David Lee Harvell, wanted a night on the town, so they drove to a nearby strip club. 
With no IDs, the pair got turned away, according to court records obtained by the Houston Chronicle. 
Jennings and David Lee Harvell then decided to rob an adult book store and were in possession of weapons.
Vice officer Elston Howard, who was standing at the counter, was filling out paperwork when Jennings made his way inside.

Howard and his undercover partner had just arrested the store owner for showing pornographic films without a permit. 

Howard, who was then 24, was waiting for a squad car to take the man downtown to booking when Jennings came inside and fired his gun at him.
Two bullets hit Howard in the neck. He tried to flee but collapsed, according to court records. Jennings shot him two more times as he lay face down. 
Jennings ran outside and hopped in the getaway car, shoving the gun between the seats before telling Harvell that he'd just shot a 'security guard.' 
A clerk later testified the shooting was so quick, Howard never had a chance to unholster his gun.
Jennings was arrested hours later when he went to a Houston hospital after being shot in the hand by his accomplice, who got angry at Jennings for shooting the officer.
At the time court records reveal he said: 'I shot him in the back two times. 
'After I shot him, the dude went to the ground between my legs, and he was still holding me by my legs, and I had to push him all the way down to the floor, and I then stepped over his body, and I went directly to the cash register.'
Joe Gamaldi, the president of the Houston Police Officers' Union, said Jennings has spent more time on death row than Howard was alive.
Howard 'was an honorable man full of integrity who did his job. He was absolutely one of the best and he was just taken entirely too soon by this animal who murdered him in cold blood,' Gamaldi said.
After his arrest, Jennings confessed to killing Howard, telling police in a tape-recorded statement he was remorseful about what happened and would 'face whatever punishment (he had) coming.'
Edward Mallett, one of Jennings' current appellate attorneys, said the inmate's trial attorneys failed to present sufficient evidence of his remorse as well as his history of brain damage, being abused as a child and drug addiction. 
He said the trial attorneys also failed to provide an instruction to jurors that would have allowed them to give sufficient weight to these aspects of Jennings' life when they deliberated.
Mallett said a prior appellate attorney also failed to argue these issues in earlier appeals.
'There has not been an adequate presentation of his circumstances including mental illness and mental limitations,' Mallett said.
Jennings' trial in 1989 took place just as the Supreme Court issued a ruling that faulted Texas' capital sentencing statute for not allowing jurors to consider evidence supporting a sentence less than death.
The Texas Legislature changed the statute to address the high court's concerns but that took place after Jennings was convicted.
The Texas Attorney General's Office called Jennings' claimed he had ineffective lawyers at his trial and during earlier appeals 'specious,' and said appeals courts have previously rejected allegations his personal history was not adequately investigated and presented at his trial.
'My hope is that on Wednesday (Howard's family gets) the closure that they've been searching for 30 years,' Gamaldi said.
The sound of justice: Dozens of cops rev their motorbike engines outside execution chamber so cop-killer can hear them as he's put to death by lethal injection 20 years after murdering officer in adult bookstore heist (3 Pics) The sound of justice: Dozens of cops rev their motorbike engines outside execution chamber so cop-killer can hear them as he's put to death by lethal injection 20 years after murdering officer in adult bookstore heist (3 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:14 Rating: 5

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