Federal court approves Texas inmate’s execution wish

HOUSTON (AP) – A federal appeals court is allowing a Corpus Christi man on death row to volunteer for execution.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says 27-year-old Daniel Lopez is competent to waive any future appeals and move forward with his execution for the March 2009 death of a Corpus Christi police officer during a chase.

Lopez has insisted his sentence is appropriate and that he believes in a better afterlife. The 5th Circuit decision late Monday affirms a lower finding and allows no additional appeal unless Lopez authorizes it.

At his 2010 trial, Lopez asked for a death sentence and said he never meant to kill 47-year-old Lt. Stuart Alexander.

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Alexander was struck and killed as he tried to deploy spike strips to stop Lopez fleeing in a speeding SUV.