Texas Could Soon Rule Death Penalty Unconstitutional
State has unfair risk of wrongful conviction, lawyers will argue
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2010 8:58 AM CST
In this Tuesday, May 27, 2008 file photo, the gurney used to restrain condemned prisoners during the lethal injection process is shown in the Texas death house in Huntsville, Texas.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

(Newser) – In Texas of all places, the death penalty could soon be declared unconstitutional. The state (which leads the US in number of executions since 1976, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice) has a disproportionately high number of wrongful convictions, attorneys will argue at a hearing Monday. Twelve people since 1976 have been exonerated from Texas' death row out of 139 across the nation, and a capital punishment expert tells the Huffington Post she will not be surprised if the judge rules the death penalty unconstitutional there.

The lawyers, defending a suspect charged with killing a woman during a 2008 armed robbery, will argue that the state has problems including bad forensic evidence, incompetent appeals lawyers, no safeguards against false eyewitness identification and false confession, and a history of racial discrimination when it comes to selecting juries. Despite a history of strong popular support for the death penalty, the director of an activist service believes that people would change their minds if they knew how bad the system was. Click here for more.

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Showing 3 of 75 comments
Dorina Lisson (ACADP)
Dec 5, 2010 6:30 PM CST
The death penalty is rotten piece of law - the political stence behind the death penalty law is sickening. This flawed, capricious, discriminative, racist and politically corrupt punishment of death, which has been proven time and time again to be riddled with legal errors, is a government's ultimate power of control and terror over society. You don't have to be a scholar to understand this fact - history shows the truth. Being opposed to the death penalty is not about disregarding the actions of offenders, it is all about governments legally killing people. It is about politics and vengeance. Civilized governments should have no right to "pick and choose" nor to "select" the people they want to kill. Governments do not give nor grant us human life and they should have no right to take away a human life. Death Penalty Countries: United States of America, Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua, Barbuda, Benin, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Central African Republic, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nigeria, North Korea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tonga, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe. What more can be said ???
zaglossus
Dec 2, 2010 12:49 PM CST
Could this be the end of the Lone Star Frequent Fryer Program? It certainly is not going to make Governor Rick "Hang 'em High" Perry's day.
Fascist_Jack
Dec 2, 2010 11:45 AM CST
Soft Liberal justice.