Ramiro Hernandez Llamas was executed on April 9-, 2014. Photo Courtesy vanguardia.com.mx

On April 9 at 4 p.m. PST, Ramiro Hernandez Llamas, who was born in Mexico, was given a lethal injection and executed in Huntsville, Texas.

Originally from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 44-year-old Ramiro Hernandez Llamas arrived in the United States by swimming across the Rio Grande in 1997. He found work on a ranch in the city of Kerrville, Texas. Glen Lich, who was later one of his victims, offered him a job as a carpenter at the ranch.

On the night of October 14, 1997 Ramiro Hernandez entered Lich’s home and used a rod to hit him on the head. He fell lifeless to the floor. Lera Lich, wife of the slain man recalled the event, arguing that after Hernandez attacked her husband, raping her at least four times and threatening to kill her with a knife.

In February of 2000, Hernandez was sentenced to death. He waited 17 years to receive his lethal injection.

Hernandez’ lawyers argued that their client had mental retardation so he could not be executed. The Texas Court explained that mental retardation must be proved before the age of 18— either through examples of below average intellectual function or significant limitations in skills such as communication and self care.

The controversy surrounding this issue led Attorney Naomi Terr and Cornell Law professor Sheri Johnson to state that “the Texas clemency process is a shame and only mocks the concept of pardon that the court is based on.”