Scheduled Executions of Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle Highlight Arbitrariness of the Death Penalty

Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle, both African American, are scheduled to be executed in the next two weeks for murders they committed as 18-year-old youths.  Their cases exemplify the arbitrariness of the death penalty, as the U.S. Supreme Court has banned this punishment for juvenile offenders under the age of 18.

Ray Jasper is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on Wednesday, March 19 for the 1998 robbery and murder of recording studio owner David Alejandro in San Antonio. His two co-defendants (both age 19 at the time of the crime) avoided the death penalty and received sentences of life in prison. If Jasper had been three months younger, he would not be facing execution.

According to an Urgent Action issued by Amnesty International, another concern in this case is the fact that the jury failed to include a single African American juror; prosecutors dismissed the two African Americans in the jury pool.  All 17 inmates still on death row from Bexar County are people of color.

Read more about Jasper’s case from Amnesty International.

You can also read a letter to Gawker from David Alejandro’s brother, Steven Alejandro, and an article in the San Antonio Express-News about other members of the Alejandro family, including the parents of David Alejandro (“Family prepares for execution of son’s killer,” March 15, 2014).

Anthony Doyle is scheduled for execution on Thursday, March 27 for the murder of 37-year-old Hyun Mi Cho in January 2003.  He was 93 days past his 18th birthday at the time of the crime. The victim was delivering food to Doyle’s family home in Rowlett (Dallas County) when he demanded money from her and then hit her with a baseball bat. He then hid her body and stole her phone, credit cards, and car.

According to an Urgent Action issued by Amnesty International, Doyle told police that he had intended to rob the delivery person so that he could support his three-week-old daughter. Psychologists testified at trial that Doyle had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and “was not physiologically or neurologically mature enough to inhibit emotions, restrain impulsive acts or consider options.” Similar to Jasper, if he had been just a few months younger he would not be facing execution.

Read more about Doyle’s case from Amnesty International.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on offenders below the age of 18 due to that age group’s impulsiveness, poor judgment, peer pressure, and underdeveloped sense of responsibility. While the court ruled that a line had to be drawn somewhere, it noted that the “qualities that distinguish juveniles from adults do not disappear when an individual turns 18.”  The cases of Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle clearly exhibit the same reasons as those given by the Court as to why teenagers should not be sentenced to death.

Take Action Today
Please write or call Governor Rick Perry and the Clemency Section of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to ask for clemency for these two men.

  • Stress their youth at the time of their crime and the ability of young people to change and mature.
  • Include the specific facts of each case that should weigh heavily on the decision to grant clemency, such as racial discrimination in the jury selection process in Ray Jasper’s case and the scientific evidence regarding Anthony Doyle’s diminished mental faculties.
  • Remember to respectfully acknowledge the seriousness of their respective crimes.

You can take action on Jasper’s case directly through the website of Amnesty International USA.

Contact Information for Governor Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
For appeals for Ray Jasper, please cite inmate number 999-341.

For appeals for Anthony Doyle, please cite inmate number 999-478.

Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Information and Referral Hotline: (800) 843-5789 [for Texas callers]
Citizen’s Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600 [for Texas callers]
Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782 [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers]
Online Contact: http://www2.governor.state.tx.us/contact

Board of Pardons and Paroles
Clemency Section
General Counsel’s Office
8610 Shoal Creek Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78758
Phone (512) 406-5852, Fax (512) 467-0945
Email: bpp-pio@tdcj.state.tx.us