The state carried out its third execution of 2023 when death row inmate Anthony Sanchez was executed last Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester for the 1996 rape and murder of a University of Oklahoma dance student, Juli Busken.
Sanchez, 44, was executed by lethal injection for the death of 21-year-old Busken. In 2006 Busken’s body was found at Lake Stanley Draper near Oklahoma City. Investigators stated she had been bound, raped, and shot in the head. While serving a burglary sentence, Sanchez’s DNA was matched to slaying and he was convicted of the rape and murder.
A Cleveland County jury convicted Sanchez during a trial in 2006 after his DNA was found on clothing at the scene belonging to Busken. Supporters claimed that Sanchez’s father committed the crime and asked for the DNA to be reexamined. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied a motion for a new hearing over the argument with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office denying a request made by an Oklahoma lawmaker.
The execution began at 10:08 a.m. and Sanchez was declared dead at 10:19 a.m.