CI3: Case #2 of What was Believed to Have Been an Accident


A recent case involved a killing that took place nearly seventeen years ago put Richard Masterson, a man that may have been falsely accused of murder, away for life in January of 2016. At the age of forty-three, Masterson’s time of death took place at 6:53pm, nearly twenty-five minutes after the lethal injection was administered. Honeycutt, the victim, was performing a sex act dressed as a woman and was strangled as a result to the sex act that was being performed. Although, was this what actually happened?

The Harris County medical examiner who deemed Honeycutt’s cause of death credentials were in question did nothing but put away this man for life. Masterson’s lawyers argued that his drug use was the probable reason for Masterson to confess to the crime in what the now Governor Abbott’s claims to have been “I meant to kill him. It was no accident”. Masterson allegedly met Honeycutt in a bar one night and returned to Honeycutt’s apartment that night to carry out the murder during a sexual act between the two individuals. He then allegedly stole Honeycutt’s car and dumped it off in Georgia, where he would later be found guilty of stealing a car from a Tampa, Florida man.

The evidence is circumstantial and it was ultimately the belief that Masterson would be a risk to others had he been let off, but should an accident only believed to have been intentful because of drug use be credible enough to put someone in the chair. Drug abuse is a serious matter that often clouds judgement and although Masterson’s defense pleaded that Masterson was not in the right state of mind when he had allegedly confessed to this crime, he was still sentenced to Capital Punishment.

This case drew widespread attention seeing as it was fairly recent and reinforced Pope Francis and the Catholic Church’s opposition to Capital Punishment. Should Capital Punishment be the answer? Masterson’s family and loved ones watched as he was administered the lethal injection and watched as he mouthed his final goodbyes consisting of an “I love you” before snoring off to the eventual slowing and stopping of his heart.

Honeycutt’s body, found nearly fifteen years prior on January 27th, 2001, would lead law officials to sentence Masterson to his demise after years of prior criminal record from the young age of fifteen. Is it right to hold prejudice against an individual for past criminal records? Is it right to sentence a man to death on account of a confession made while under the influence?

I believe that everyone deserves a fair chance at life when facing the courts for crimes of this nature, regardless of the evidence present, because sometimes an accident really is an accident. I do not believe in holding anyone accountable for what is said while under the influence because any drug can convince you that you are guilty of a crime that you may not have committed, and it is not fair to be held accountable for these words. I believe that in order to establish justice, individuals must be completely aware of their own thoughts and have a clear head. They have the time to wait for a clear-headed statement considering this man sat on Death Row for nearly fifteen years without acquisition.


What do you think?


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