In a long-awaited conclusion to a tragic case, Anthony Sanchez, the man convicted of raping and murdering 21-year-old Juli Busken, a University of Oklahoma dance student, was executed on Thursday morning.
The execution took place at 10:19 a.m. CT at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, following a three-drug injection. Sanchez, 44, had consistently maintained his innocence throughout the years, even as the evidence mounted against him.
Strapped to a gurney inside the death chamber, he repeated his claims one final time, saying, “I’m innocent. I didn’t kill nobody.” However, the overwhelming evidence, including DNA from the crime scene that matched Sanchez, left no doubt as to his guilt.
The heinous crime took place on December 20, 1996, when Busken, an Arkansas native, was abducted from the parking lot of her Norman apartment complex.
She had just completed her last semester at the University of Oklahoma, and her life was tragically cut short. For years, the case remained unsolved, haunting the community and leaving Busken’s loved ones desperate for answers.
It wasn’t until authorities discovered a match between the DNA found at the crime scene and Anthony Sanchez, who was already serving time for burglary, that the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.
The breakthrough in the investigation brought some solace to Busken’s family and friends, knowing that justice might finally be served.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Sanchez had the opportunity for a clemency hearing earlier this year but rejected it. This decision only further solidified the belief in his guilt.
The execution marked the end of a lengthy legal process and provided some closure for those affected by Busken’s tragic murder.
Throughout the years, the case of Juli Busken has served as a reminder of the importance of perseverance and the tireless efforts of law enforcement in seeking justice.
It also highlights the significance of DNA evidence in solving cold cases and bringing closure to grieving families.
As the community mourns the loss of a bright young woman, they can finally find solace in knowing that justice has been served.
While the pain of Busken’s senseless death will never fully fade, her memory will live on through the impact she made on those who knew her and the lessons learned from her tragic end.