Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape ?
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 5, 1998
Date of birth: April 17, 1979
Victim profile: His four year old step daughter
Method of murder: Beating with a closed fist
Location: Nueces County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death June 24, 1999
Name TDCJ Number Date of Birth
Vasquez, Richard 999319 04/17/1979
Date Received Age (when Received) Education Level
06/24/1999 20 9
Date of Offense Age (at the Offense) County
03/05/1998 18 Nueces
Race Gender Hair Color
Hispanic Male Black
Height Weight Eye Color
5' 9" 180 Brown
Native County Native State Prior Occupation
Nueces Texas Laborer
Prior Prison Record
Summary of incident

On 03/05/98, during the daytime, in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, Vasquez struck a 4 year old Hispanic female multiple times in the frontal part of her head with a closed fist.

Vasquez then sent the victim outside to play, Vasquez took a nap. Later, Vasquez called the victim in from outside to brush her teeth.

The victim got a small stool so she could reach the sink area. She got on top of the stool and fell backwards onto her back. Vasquez went into the bathroom and saw the victim laying on her back.

The victim was rushed to the hospital, where she died 1 day later.

Race and Gender of Victim
Hispanic female

"Not Giving Up"

My name is Richard Vasquez. I am currently a Texas death row inmate. I stand convicted of a particularly heinous crime. There are two key words in my last sentence. The first is convicted. I would like to elaborate on that one, and I'll do the same for any other key words that may come along.

Convicted means that a jury consisting of twelve of my peers believe in my guilt. Being convicted of a Capital crime is a shade different than any other conviction. It also means that these same people beleive that I am unrehabilitatable. That I am a continuing threat to society. This is actually quite feat considering that no one has ever attempted to rehabilitate me. I don't have a history of violence. So, the question is simply this; If no one has trued, how do they know that I am beyond help? And how did the system that is supposedly fair and loaded with safeguards miss this very basic thing? In actuality the system is not what they may perceive it to be. It is not fair, or safe. And innocent people die because of this.

There is no standard, profile, or criteria used in qualifying someone for the death penalty. It is all done rather arbitrarily. Anyone can be sentenced to death in Texas. Children, the mentally handicapped and first time offenders; people with no previous criminal history. You can find examples of all of these on death row. I mention this because many of you believe that only monsters or serial killers exist here. And that is what the State wants you to believe. By and large you will find people very much like yourselves here. Yes, there are some bad people here but in all of the time that I have been here, I have yet to meet someone that I would consider to be a monster, or beyond help. Sure, they are people who have made a mistake. But unrehabilitatable? Truthfully, I doubt anyone has tried.

Our jury system is not what it should or could be. It is succeptable to human nature and error. Even though one is technically innocent until proven guilty. How many of us can say that we are not truly bias? When you have a person in jail accused of a crime most people reason that "He's not in there for nothing." This according to our law is unfair. But human nature is often not a fair judge. The system is also unfair when it comes to trying someone. The state has virtually unlimited resources at their disposal. But in support of your defense, they will only pay a lawyer so much. Often the amount is not sufficient, hence your defense is also not sufficient. The system in this way victimizes the poor. I haven't met any wealthy man on death row, not one. Yet few question this.

So in effect your off to a bad start before your case ever comes to trial. The jury is probably tainted by human nature. So automatically you are viewed as guilty, the prosecutor is viewed as a good guy. After all he is a "crime fighter" He is an officer of the court, therfore we tend to believe what he says. Defense attorneys are often seen with contempt. They are viewed as hired guns, someone associated with the criminal element. So from the moment you walk into the courtroom the deck is stacked against you. Prosecutors know of this advantage, and they exploit it. For effect, they will often present evidence that is gruesome to view. For example autopsy photos. Even when someone dies of natural causes, these are gruesome. Anyone can see that the prejudicial nature of these photos is not outweighed by their legal value. But in most cases the judge will allow this. The DA will also use the testimony of jailhouse or paid informants. And they are not beneath coercing witnesses to manufacture evidence. They will do whatever it takes to win a case. They are not interested in justice, only winning. This interest is directly connected with their personal gain. By winning these high profile cases they receive a lot of recognition. They establish a reputation for being tough on crime. And when it comes time for elections, this helps them tremendously.

Now for the second key word. Heinous, the crime that I am convicted of is exactly that. I am convicted of murdering my four year old step daughter. To make things look worse for me. They also accused me of sexually assaulting her, and injecting her with a large amount of cocaine. They say the murder is a result of me using my hand as a weapon and striking her on the head.

I will be the first to admit that I'm no angel. At the time that all of this happened, I was in fact a herion addict. And I had already had a few misdeanor offenses in my earlier teen years. But nothing of a violent nature. At the time of the offense, I was a month away from turning nineteen. You could say that I was a kid, one with a severe drug habit. Me and my step-daughters mother were both struggling with addiction, as well as life in general trying to support our family. We also had a three month old together. But we are not sexually depraved or violent people.

In fact evidence exists that the child was not molested or injected with cocaine. But my court appointed lawyers failed to call these expert witnesses on my behalf. In fact the defense that these lawyers provided me can be described as lacadaisical at best. The situation is further adversely affected by what I've mentioned earlier; Human nature. In a crime such as this one can't help but despise the accused. Factually innocent or not, the accused is seen in a bad light. It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see how anything the DA can conger up will be easily believed. Hence the supposition of being innocent until proven guilty dies quickly. I was indicted of striking her, thus causing her death. But I submit to you that I was found guilty largely on the allegations of sexual assault and having injected her with a drug. These accusations were not supported by facts. I was in effect indicted of one thing, and convicted for another.

There are two reasons that the DA used these heinous accusations. One, he is immune from prosecution. He can say anything he wants without repercussion. But the main reason was to bolster an already weak case. He played on peoples emotions. I had freely given statements that her death was accidental. That I had not struck her. And the mechanism of her injury support this. The reason that I believe I am here is because the authorities had been after me for a while, for drug related offenses. They could never catch me. So when this situation presented itself. Instead of it being an accidental death; It became a capital murder. Fair? hardly.

I had a good and loving relationship with my step-daughter. I was her dad, she knew no other. I miss her dearly. I regret that I was not a good role model for her, that I didn't provide better for her, but most of all, that I didn't watch her closely enough and this accident happened. Had I been or done these things we might have been together today.

I know that what you have just read may upset you. It might have made you angry or sad. These are natural reactions. I have only presented the truth. Terrible though it may be. And I ask for very little in return. I would like the opportunity to first ask all of you not to take your lives for granted. I have learned how pecious a gift life is. And second I would like a second chance. A chance to prove my innocence. To have adequate counsel in a fair trial.

Richard Vasquez # 999319
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


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