On this date in 2003, Daniel Juan Revilla was executed in Oklahoma for beating his girlfriend’s
daughterson to death.
Six months after his 18th birthday, Revilla appeared at the Jackson County hospital with his girlfriend’s infant son, screaming that the child had stopped breathing. The boy never revived.
Doctors trying to save little Mark Gomez couldn’t help but notice a catalogue of injuries: burns, bruises, cuts, brain hemorrhaging. Revilla’s explanation of careening through the house Homer Simpson-esque with the child — scalding him by trying to revive him with bathwater, bonking his head on the door running out to the hospital — didn’t persuade many.
Indeed, trial testimony from the mother and others tended towards the notion that Revilla openly disliked the kid because it wasn’t his, and was given to violently taking out his frustrated reproductive rivalry. He may have tried to “accidentally” kill the child previously.
The victim’s father, Juan Gomez, emerges from the news reports as a distinctly more impressive character, remembering the “short time, but still a good time” he had with Mark without losing empathy even for his murderous rival.
“I do forgive Mr. Revilla,” Juan Gomez told the media. “He was young at the time and I don’t think he realized what he did until it was too late. And I feel very sorry for his family for the loss of their son.”
Some thoughts of Daniel’s (about death row and the death penalty; he didn’t remark on the facts of the case) remain preserved on an ancient Internet page here. Sample:
The death penalty is unequivocally imposed arbitrarily. If you can’t afford justice, you’ll receive just as much justice as you can buy. In the case ofthe poor, that equals : none. There are those on death row, right now, with witnesses, evidence, DNA proof…etc, who can prove their innocence, if only they could afford it. Sadly, they can’t. Nor can they fight the Goliath system that oppresses them…They will die… The indigent, since they cannot afford to hire competent legal representation, are forced to capitulate. They abdicate their lives to the states ‘indigent defense system.’ An unimpressive, underfunded, jerkwater organization; implemented and appointed by the state, to facilitate the state’s desire to escort you through the formalities and into the execution chamber.
A comic series he drew during the half of his life he spent being escorted through the formalities and into the execution chamber was recently published as Dirt Road.