February 10, 1998
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Manuel Martinez Coronado is executed for the murders of 7
Coronado had been convicted of killing a family of seven — including four children ages 2 to 12 — in 1995 following a land dispute. He was convicted, primarily upon the testimony of a 10-year-old witness, though Amnesty International attempted to appeal the conviction on Coronado’s behalf by claiming his trial was mishandled. The appeal was rejected.
Coronado became the first person to be executed by lethal injection in Guatemala, his execution televised live. The procedure was botched: the medical officials conducting the execution (possibly nervous due to the cameras and Coronado’s weeping wife and children) seemingly missed Coronado’s veins, and a brief power failure caused the machine to malfunction. The Guatemalan government abolished the death penalty for civilian offenders in 2017.
Hodgkinson, Peter and Schabas, William A. Capital Punishment: Strategies for Abolition. Cambridge University Press, 2004
“Confirman pena de muerte a Manuel Martínez Coronado en 1996.” Prensa Libre. May 20, 2017. Accessed: February 10, 2019. https://www.prensalibre.com/hemeroteca/confirman-pena-de-muerte-a-manuel-martinez-coronado-en-1996/
Zubieta, Celina. “GUATEMALA: Prisoner Killed by Lethal Injection.” Inter Press Service. Accessed: February 10, 2019. http://www.ipsnews.net/1998/02/guatemala-prisoner-killed-by-lethal-injection/