Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments in the case of Charles Hood, a Texas death row inmate. This case has garnered national attention from numerous attorneys and legal ethicists because of the troubling questions it raises as to whether Hood received a fair trial.
Archive | death penalty
The University of Texas School of Law’s Capital Punishment Center will host a conference on legislative developments concerning the American death penalty on April 9–10. “The American Death Penalty in the Twenty-first Century: the Direction of Legislative Change and the Prospects for Legislative Abolition” will bring together lawyers and lawmakers from around the country to talk about efforts to abolish the death penalty (New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Colorado, Kansas) as well as efforts to expand it (Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Hampshire) and reform it (North Carolina, Maryland, California).
The following letter regarding the case of Hank Skinner appeared on Sunday, April 4, 2010 in the Amarillo Globe News:
But then, he has always gotten a reprieve over the DNA testing. We are Lisa Busby’s aunt and uncle and her caretakers. Lisa Busby is Twila Busby’s daughter. She survived because she was spending New Year’s Eve 1993 with poppa and grandma when Hank Skinner killed her mother and two brothers in Pampa.
This has been happening for ten years because the Gray County district attorney will not let Skinner’s DNA be tested. Lynn Switzer does not need anyone’s permission to have the DNA tested. She spent more than $1 million in the unsuccessful Doan murder trials. There is a lab in Arizona that will do the DNA testing for free. It’s not like it’s going to cost a million taxpayers’ dollars to have closure for OUR family. Is the district attorney treating all families equally?
She could have allowed the testing a long time ago. What is the real reason she has not allowed the Hank Skinner DNA testing? We would like to know.
David Brito Garcia
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has set a June 18 hearing for Judge Sharon Keller, presiding judge for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the women responsible for refusing to stay in the office after 5PM so paperwork could be filed to stay the execution of Michael Richard based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay of impending executions issued that same day. Keller’s refusal resulted in Richard’s execution, and since 2007 the judge’s conduct has been questioned by some as unethical.
The American Civil Liberties Union issued a report on March 29, 2010 regarding the use of capital punishment in California. The report “Death Decline in 2009: Los Angeles Holds California Back as Nation Shifts to Permanent Imprisonment” found a number of startling facts regarding the death penalty in the nation’s most populous state, including the striking number of new death sentences, the benefits financially of life imprisonment and the changing face of death row to include a proportionally unequal number of Latinos.
Mark White served as the state of Texas’ attorney general from 1979-1983 and as governor from 1983-1987 during which time he oversaw 19 executions. In 2009, the former governor was quoted in both the Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News regarding his waning support of the death penalty in light of wrongful executions and a poor criminal justice system.
On March 5, 2010, a Nueces County jury sentenced Daniel Lopez to death for the 2009 murder of Corpus Christi Police Officer, Stuart Alexander.