On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out two death sentences, ordering new punishment trials for both. The decision was made in line with changes in punishment evidence rules ordered by the United States Supreme Court in death penalty cases.
Archive | capital punishment
With the Supreme Court stay of Hank Skinner’s execution on March 24, 2010 much attention has been drawn to the capital punishment system in Texas and recent trends which may suggest a slow death of the institution. An article by BBC News “Is the death penalty on death row?” (March 30, 2010) cites the steady decline in new death sentences handed down in Texas courts as reason to believe that the death penalty in Texas has fundamentally moved to a less “death” oriented system.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Milton Dwayne Gobert was sentenced to death in the 2003 killing of Mel Kernena Cotton in North Austin.
TCADP wrote about Phillip’s report early in the week. To view this article, with a link to the report published with the American Constitution Society visit here.
Professor Scott Phillips published a brief with the American Constitution Society on February 23, 2010 regarding the effects of hired counsel versus court-appointed attorney’s in capital murder cases in Harris County. The report investigated the 504 adults indicted with capital murder in the country between 1992-1999. The brief compared the outcome of cases where the defendant hired counsel with cases where the defendant had court-appointed counsel and found that “hiring counsel for the entire case not only eliminated the chance of death, but also dramatically increased the chance of an acquittal;” while “hiring counsel for a portion of the case substantially reduces the chance of death.”