Ruben Cantu

Ruben Cantu

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Ruben Cantu

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Ruben Montoya Cantu (December 5, 1966 – August 24, 1993) was a Texan who was executed for murder. During the years following the conviction, the surviving victim, the co-defendant, the District Attorney, and the jury forewoman have all made public statements that cast doubt on Cantu's guilty verdict and death sentence.


Ruben Cantu grew up with his mother and father, until the age of 14, when the couple split up, with Ruben's mother moving 20 miles (30 km) away, and Ruben and his father continuing to live in a trailer in a crime-ridden south San Antonio barrio. The neighborhood was home to a loose band of tough kids called the Grey Eagles, of which Cantu became a leader, despite being rather small and in special-ed classes at school. By age 15, he was stealing cars for an organized auto theft ring, often spending days at a time driving stolen cars to Mexico for cash. At a time when the San Antonio Police Department was embroiled in scandal, with vigilantes and drug-dealing officers well known to the community, Cantu was stealing cars and dodging the police. His older brother had been arrested on drug and theft charges, but despite several run-ins with the police, Ruben was never convicted of anything before the November 1984 crime that led to his execution.

Convicted of armed robbery and murder

The prosecution's case at the trial that convicted Ruben Cantu is summarized as follows: On the night of November 8, 1984, at approximately 11:30...
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