The State of Texas put 10 people to death in 2014, the fewest executions in the state since 1996, according to the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s (TCADP) new report, Texas Death Penalty Developments in 2014: The Year in Review. This year, new death sentences in Texas also remained near record-low levels, with 11 new death sentences coming from just 8 of the state’s 254 counties.
Thirty-two years ago today, the State of Texas officially resumed executions, putting Charlie Brooks to death for the 1976 murder of David Gregory. That was also the nation’s first execution by lethal injection, a new method concocted by a legislator and former chief medical examiner in Oklahoma. All eyes were on Texas that day, much […]
BREAKING: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the execution of Scott Panetti, who had been scheduled for execution in Texas tonight at 6 p.m. CT. Below is a statement from Mr. Panetti’s legal team, Greg Wiercioch of University of Wisconsin Law School and Kathryn Kase of Texas Defender Service, followed by background about […]
Breaking: This afternoon, despite widespread support from the country’s and Texas’ leading mental health organizations, dozens of conservative and Evangelical leaders, the American Bar Association and hundreds of other prominent individuals and organizations, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously voted, 7-0, to deny a commutation recommendation for Scott Panetti, a man who has suffered […]
Citing trends which demonstrate an emerging consensus against the use of capital punishment against people with severe mental illness, attorneys for Mr. Panetti today filed for a stay of execution at the U.S. Supreme Court, with a petition for a writ of certiorari challenging the constitutionality of Mr. Panetti’s execution. Mr. Panetti was diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder decades before the crime for which he is scheduled to be executed this Wednesday, December 3rd, in Texas.
A new poll by Public Policy Polling released today found that Americans oppose the death penalty for persons with mental illness by a margin of 2 to 1. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they opposed the death penalty for persons with mental illness, while only 28% favored it. Opposition was consistent across all political parties, with a majority of Democrats (62%), Republicans (59%), and Independents(51%) all indicating they opposed the death penalty for the mentally ill, and across all regions of the country.
Just In: Following a 5-4 divided ruling on Tuesday, today a 6-3 splintered Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) again denied a stay of execution on Eighth Amendment grounds for Scott Panetti, a schizophrenic man scheduled for execution on December 3, 2014. On November 24, attorneys filed a challenge to the use of the death penalty against persons […]