Texas capital punishment

17 Stories

Guy on Death Row 30 Years Gets Last-Minute Reprieve

US Supreme Court steps in as Texas planned execution for Tuesday

(Newser) - A Texas inmate set to be executed next week for fatally shooting four men at an airplane hangar more than 30 years ago won a reprieve today from the US Supreme Court. Lester Bower Jr., 67, among the longest-serving Texas death row inmates, had been scheduled for lethal injection Tuesday.... More »

Texas Performs 500th Execution

Kimberley McCarthy first woman executed in 3 years in US

(Newser) - Texas yesterday executed Kimberly McCarthy, marking the state's 500th execution since it brought back the death penalty in 1982. McCarthy, 52, was the first woman to face the death penalty in the US in three years, the AP notes. She was associated with three killings, including the stabbing of... More »

Texas Set for Record 500th Execution Tonight

Kimberly McCarthy due to be executed today

(Newser) - Kimberly McCarthy is due to be executed in Texas today, and if all goes according to plan, she'll be the state's 500th inmate put to death. The Lone Star State has been responsible for almost 40% of the 1,300-plus executions in the US since 1976, the AP... More »

9 States Executed People in 2012, a 20-Year Low

Four states, led by Texas, account for 75% of executions

(Newser) - US states executed 43 people this year, the same as last year, but a group that opposes the death penalty says 2012 stats show capital punishment is on the wane across the country. Some highlights from AFP and the AP :
  • Nine states executed people this year, the smallest number in
... More »

Inmate Is First Executed in Texas With Single Drug

State changes lethal injection formula used since 1982

(Newser) - America's most prolific death penalty state has executed its first inmate using one drug instead of three. Yokamon Hearn, 33, was killed with a single dose of pentobarbital, which had been part of a three-drug mixture used for executions before shortages of the other drugs arose. Ohio, Arizona, Idaho,... More »

How Texas Executed an Innocent Man

Carlos DeLuna allegedly took the fall for Carlos Hernandez

(Newser) - Carlos DeLuna was executed in 1989 for the murder of Wanda Lopez, but a 400-page article in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review asserts that Texas actually put the wrong man to death, while the real killer bragged about the murder and the fact that DeLuna took the fall. Lopez,... More »

No More Last Meals for Death Row Cons in Texas

They can no longer make special requests

(Newser) - Death row inmates in Texas can no longer request special last meals, and they can blame racist killer Lawrence Russell Brewer. Before he was executed this week , Brewer ordered up a Texas-sized feast, according to the Austin American-Statesman : "Two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet,... More »

Duane Buck Execution Halted

Supreme Court to review Texan's appeal

(Newser) - Duane Buck's life has been spared, for now, without Texas Gov. Rick Perry having to sit in the hot seat. Buck, who shot two people to death in 1995, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection yesterday, but the US Supreme Court decided to review his appeal, AP... More »

DEA Seizes Georgia's Execution Drug

Sodium thiopental may have been acquired improperly

(Newser) - The DEA has seized Georgia’s supply of sodium thiopental, one of the key drugs used to execute prisoners, because it believes the state may have improperly imported it. Like many states, Georgia was forced to import the drug from England last year thanks to a shortage in the US,... More »

Texas Court Suspends Death Penalty Challenge

Observers doubt they will continue

(Newser) - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has called a stop to a challenge to the constitutionality of the death penalty, after an emergency appeal by prosecutors. Defense attorneys for accused murderer John Edward Green had brought a pretrial challenge to Texas’ death penalty, arguing that it didn’t do enough... More »

Texas Prosecutors 'Stand Mute' at Death Penalty Hearing

Challenge to decide whether Texas' death penalty is constitutional

(Newser) - The death penalty is facing a major constitutional challenge in Texas, but the district attorney in the case literally doesn’t think it’s worth talking about. At a hearing yesterday to determine whether Texas’ death penalty is unconstitutional because it doesn't have enough safeguards for defendants, prosecutors said they’... More »

Texas Could Soon Rule Death Penalty Unconstitutional

State has unfair risk of wrongful conviction, lawyers will argue

(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... More »

Condemned Man Spared During Last Meal

Murder convict Hank Skinner granted last-minute reprieve

(Newser) - A death row inmate in Texas was spared Wednesday just as he was finishing his last meal on earth—chicken, a bacon cheeseburger, fries, catfish, onion rings, and a salad. Hank Skinner, who had been on death row since 1995, was convicted of bludgeoning to death his live-in girlfriend and... More »

Jurors Used Bible to Decide Death Sentence

Amnesty International troubled by Old Testament justice

(Newser) - Death-row foes are complaining that a Texas jury ordered to consider only evidence presented in court consulted the Old Testament before condemning a man to death. Jurors examined highlighted passages in Bibles passed around the jury room to help them decide the fate of Khristian Oliver. The con killed a... More »

Con Wins Death Stay in Judge Affair Appeal

Relationship between judge and prosecutor not reason for decision

(Newser) - A Texas death-row inmate who filed an appeal alleging that an affair between the judge and prosecutor compromised his trial has been granted a stay of execution. But, ABC News reports, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals approved Charles Dean Hood's request based not on the affair but because of... More »

Executions Drop to 13-Year Low

42 people put to death in '07; further decline could follow Court ruling

(Newser) - With the Supreme Court set to hear arguments Jan. 7 about lethal-injection procedures, figures show that US states executed just 42 people this year, a 13-year low. The case before the court has prompted states using lethal injection to execute inmates to stay pending executions; on Monday, New Jersey became... More »

Texas Executions at Standstill

Case before US Supreme Court used to stay death order

(Newser) - As the US Supreme Court reviews the constitutionality of lethal-injection methods, a Texas appeals court yesterday stayed an execution order scheduled to be carried out tonight—bringing the country's busiest death row to a standstill. The Supreme Court is looking at a case brought by death-row inmates in Kentucky who... More »

17 Stories