Archive | Stay of execution

25 August 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts execution of Nicaraguan national Bernardo Tercero

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts execution of Nicaraguan national Bernardo Tercero

Earlier today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution to Bernardo Aban Tercero, a national of Nicaragua who was scheduled to be executed tomorrow, August 26, 2015.  From Allan Turner with the Houston Chronicle:

In an affidavit submitted to the court by Tercero’s Austin attorney Walter Long, witness Sylvia Cotera said that she falsely testified that Tercero told her that he had shot his victim because the man had no money. “He never talked to me about the amount of money he robbed nor that he was angry because the man did not have very much money,” she said in the statement. “What I sad about these things in my testimony wasn’t the truth.”

According to the Chronicle, the appeals court issued the stay so that the case’s trial court could consider the merits of the new appeal.

Read the full story here.

Tercero is the eighth person to receive a stay of execution this year in Texas.  At this time, six additional executions are scheduled to take place by the end of 2015.

Continue Reading

17 July 2015 ~ Comments Off on Clifton Williams Receives Stay of Execution

Clifton Williams Receives Stay of Execution

Clifton Williams received a stay hours before his scheduled execution. He was scheduled to be put to death July 16, 2015 for the 2005 murder of a 93-year-old woman at her home during a robbery in Tyler, Texas. The stay was granted to allow time “to examine whether incorrect FBI statistics regarding DNA probabilities in population estimates cited by witnesses could have affected the outcome of Williams’ trial.” In previous unsuccessful appeals, Williams’ attorneys have focused on deficient legal aid and William’s mental impairment.

This is the sixth time this year a scheduled execution in Texas has been called off. Williams would have been the 10th inmate executed by Texas in 2015.

To read more visit ABC News.

Continue Reading

28 April 2015 ~ Comments Off on Robert Pruett Receives Stay of Execution

Robert Pruett Receives Stay of Execution

Robert Pruett has received a stay of execution to allow for more DNA testing of evidence.  He was scheduled to be put to death this evening for the 1999 murder of correctional officer Daniel Nagle at the McConnell Unit in Beeville.  He received a stay of execution in 2013 after prosecutors agreed to a request for DNA testing; a 2014 execution date also was withdrawn.  Pruett has consistently maintained his innocence.

Read more from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/28/texas-calls-off-robert-pruett-execution-hours.

This is the second time this month that a scheduled execution in Texas has been called off; Richard Vasquez received a stay from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last week.

 

Continue Reading

22 April 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Richard Vasquez

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Richard Vasquez

On April 21, 2015 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Richard Vasquez, scheduled to take place April 23rd. In their appeal to the court, Vasquez’s attorneys contended new research on shaken baby syndrome and head injuries debunks testimony from prosecution experts at his 1999 trial. Vasquez was originally scheduled for execution on January 15, 2015, but the execution was rescheduled because the Governor was out of the state.

Read more about the ruling from the Houston Chronicle.
Read more about Richard Vasquez’s case from the Austin Chronicle.

Continue Reading

23 March 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution of Randall Mays

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution of Randall Mays

One week ago the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Randall Mays, scheduled to take place on March 18th. The court agreed with Mays’ lawyers that additional review is needed to determine if Mays is mentally competent for execution.
Texas’ highest court will now give the case a deeper look before issuing an opinion or further order.

Read more about the ruling from the Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman.

Continue Reading

23 February 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution of Rodney Reed

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution of Rodney Reed

Today the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Rodney Reed, which was scheduled to take place on March 5th.  The court issued the stay to consider new evidence that may establish Reed’s innocence in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites.

Here’s a statement from Reed’s lawyer, Bryce Benjet, a staff attorney with the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law:

We’re extremely relieved that the court has stayed Mr. Reed’s execution so there will be proper consideration of the powerful new evidence of his innocence. We are also optimistic that this will give us the opportunity to finally conduct DNA testing that could prove who actually committed the crime.

The new evidence includes affidavits that confirm Reed’s romantic relationship with Stites and statements from three forensic examiners who reviewed the case and believe Stites was likely killed hours earlier than previously thought, challenging the timeline of her death as presented at Reed’s trial.

Six judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to the stay, which is “pending further order of this court.”

Read more about today’s ruling from the Texas Tribune and the Austin American-Statesman.

A copy of the court’s order is available at http://www.innocenceproject.org/docs/ReedR_wrt07_ord.pdf.

Continue Reading

05 February 2015 ~ Comments Off on State of Texas executes Donald Newbury; Supreme Court stays execution of Lester Bower

State of Texas executes Donald Newbury; Supreme Court stays execution of Lester Bower

Last night the State of Texas carried out its third execution of the year, putting Donald Newbury to death for the 2000 murder of Irving Police Officer Aubrey Hawkins.  Newbury was serving a 99-year sentence for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon when he and six other inmates broke out of the Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas on December 13, 2000. The “Texas Seven” made their way to North Texas, where on Christmas Eve they robbed a sporting goods store at gunpoint and killed Officer Hawkins.

Two of Newbury’s co-defendants have already been executed, one committed suicide, and three others remain on death row. Read more from the Texas Tribune.

Texas accounts for three of the seven executions to date in the United States this year.

*Breaking news* The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a stay of execution to Lester Bower “pending the disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari.” Bower was scheduled to be executed next week on February 10th for the shooting deaths of four men at an ultralight airplane hangar near Sherman in 1983.  Bower, a former chemical salesman with no prior criminal history, has consistently maintained his innocence.  He has spent more than 30 years on death row in Texas.

According to KXII News 12 in Sherman, attorneys for Bower presented three arguments to the Justices:

1. Whether the former Texas special issues for death penalty sentencing allowed the jury to consider mitigating evidence of good character;

2. Whether evidence disclosed by the state after the trial that the rare specialty ammunition prosecutors said Bower used to commit the murders was not really all that rare constitutes a due process clause violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; and

3. Whether executing a defendant whom has served more than 30 years on death row constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Bower’s trial took place before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Johnny Paul Penry, which determined that jurors must be given an opportunity to consider mitigating evidence in the punishment phase of death penalty trials.  Dozens of people on death row in Texas have received new sentencing hearings as a result of that ruling.

Read more from KXII.

Continue Reading

27 January 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts execution of Garcia White, denies appeal of Robert Ladd

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts execution of Garcia White, denies appeal of Robert Ladd

Earlier today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a reprieve to Garcia White. White was scheduled to be put to death on January 28th for the 1989 stabbing deaths of Bonita Edwards and her 16-year-old twin daughters, Annette and Bernette, in their Houston home. He was convicted by a Harris County jury in 1996.  The court did not provide a reason for the stay of execution.  Read more from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post.

Also today, the state’s highest criminal court denied the appeal of Robert Ladd, who is scheduled to be executed on Thursday for the 1996 murder of Vicki Ann Garner in Tyler (Smith County). According to a press release from the ACLU, Ladd, who has been diagnosed with an I.Q. of 67, “doesn’t meet the Texas courts’ standards to determine whether a person is intellectually disabled, which were drawn in part on the character Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.”  Read more from the ACLU.

The ACLU has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of Robert Ladd’s execution, based on evidence of his intellectual disabilities. Attorneys also have asked the Justices to review the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Their certiorari petition, stay motion, and other documents are available here: https://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment/ex-parte-ladd.

 

Continue Reading