April 25, 2012
In 1992, Thomas Kemp was an ex-convict working as a maintenance man in Tucson. When a past prison mate named Jeffrey Logan escaped from an honor farm in California, he and Kemp teamed up, purchased a gun and went looking for a victim.
They found a college student by the name of Hector Juarez, 25, who had left his apartment to get a late-night snack. Kemp and Logan seized him in the parking lot outside his apartment. They forced him to withdraw money from an ATM, stripped him naked and shot him in the head. Then they discarded his body near the Silverbell Mine in Marana.
Kemp and Logan drove to Flagstaff and sold Kemp’s truck, then carjacked a couple and forced them to drive to Durango, Colorado. The couple got away and contacted police. Logan was arrested in Denver and led Tucson police to Juarez’s body in the desert. Kemp was arrested in a homeless shelter in Tucson. While in jail in Pima County, Kemp confessed to killing Juarez.
Logan received a sentence of life in prison. Kemp was convicted of first-degree murder, armed robbery and kidnapping. At his sentencing a month later, Kemp told the court that Juarez was “beneath my contempt” because he was not an American citizen.
Thomas Kemp was put to death in Florence on Wednesday morning. This is Arizona’s 3rd execution for 2012. Kemp was insubordinate to the end. “I regret nothing,” were his last words.
Then he trembled as the drugs coursed through his veins and went still.
What is your opinion on the death penalty? Should Kemp have just lived the rest of his life in jail like his partner in crime Logan?
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