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Texas Executes Former Rapper Ray Jasper

Ray Jasper

The state of Texas last night executed former rapper Ray Jasper for the 1998 San Antonio murder of studio owner David Alejandro. The homicide was a particularly grisly one: Jasper and two associates booked time to record with Alejandro, but instead hatched a plan to steal the victim’s expensive recording equipment. Jasper admitted to slitting Alejandro’s throat, but proclaimed his innocence throughout the trial, stating that it was his cohort Steven Russell who delivered the fatal stabbing.  

At the time of the homicide, Jasper was 18 years old and came from a rough background. But he said his time in jail reformed him. Earlier this year, he corresponded with Gawker for the site’s “Letters From Death Row” series. Jasper responded with a detailed account of his time in prison, his newfound beliefs in God, and how he had become more political during his incarceration. But most telling were his thoughts on his impending execution and his sense that he’d never gotten a fair trial. “I think any execution has a 50/50 chance of taking place,” he wrote. “The controversial issue in my case has been narrowed down to racial discrimination concerning the State of Texas purposely striking black people from the jury panel.” 

Jasper penned a final letter to Gawker that ran earlier this month. Among many heartfelt statements, he wrote: “Without any questions, you’ve given me a blank canvas. I’ll only address what’s on my heart. Next month, the State of Texas has resolved to kill me like some kind of rabid dog, so indirectly, I guess my intention is to use this as some type of platform because this could be my final statement on earth.”

Jasper was the third person to be executed by Texas this year.