This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Ayesta v. Davis. Carlos Ayestas is a Honduran national who was sentenced to death in Harris County in 1997 for his role in the 1995 murder of 67-year-old Santiaga Paneque during an apparent robbery. During his original trial, Ayestas’ attorneys failed to […]
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider the case of Carlos Ayestas, a Honduran national who was sentenced to death in Harris County, Texas in 1997. This is the third death penalty case out of Harris County to be granted cert by the Justices in the last year. See the statement from Ayestas’ attorneys […]
On November 8, 2016, voters did more than just elect a new president. They voted for district attorneys, sheriffs, criminal justice reform legislation, and, in three states, the death penalty. In Nebraska, 59.6% of voters chose to repeal the abolition law passed in 2015. Oklahoma’s State Question 776 passed, protecting the death penalty through the […]
A new report from the Fair Punishment Project at Harvard Law School offers an in-depth look at how the death penalty is operating in the small handful of counties across the country that are still using it. Of the 3,143 county or county equivalents in the United States, only 16—or one half of one percent—imposed five […]
A new report from Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project identifies America’s five deadliest head prosecutors out of the thousands that have held that office in the last 40 years. It specifically names Johnny Holmes, who served as the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas from 1979 to 2000; during his tenure, his office secured at least 200 death sentences. Since 2008, by contrast, Harris County juries have sent an average of one person to death row each year.