On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit returned Scott Panetti’s case to the federal district court with orders to appoint counsel, authorize funds for investigative and expert assistance, and allow adequate time to prepare a habeas corpus petition raising the claim that Mr. Panetti is currently incompetent to […]
Yesterday, June 19, 2017, on the final day of its October 2016 term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Davila v. Davis, a Texas death penalty case. The Justices ruled 5-4 against Davila, finding that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to counsel in post-conviction proceedings, let alone effective assistance of counsel. According […]
Jerry Hartfield was released from a Texas prison on June 12, 2017, after serving more than three decades without a valid conviction. He had been convicted and sentenced to death for the 1976 slaying of 55-year-old Eunice Lowe in Bay City. He allegedly confessed to the crime, “confessed, that is, the way a black man with […]
Two men have been removed from death row in Texas in recent weeks based on evidence of their intellectual disabilities. The commutations stem from the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Moore v. Texas, which requires the state to use current medical standards in assessing intellectual disabilities.
Today, Monday, April 17, 2017, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 1537, which would repeal the death penalty in Texas. The Committee has considered similar legislation sponsored by State Representative Jessica Farrar in every session since 2009.