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, 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 […]
Today, March 28, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas must use current medical standards for determining whether a person is intellectually disabled and therefore exempt from execution. The case – Moore v. Texas – involves Bobby James Moore, who was convicted of killing a grocery story employee during a bungled robbery […]
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas death row inmate Duane Buck is entitled to a new sentencing hearing. Buck was sentenced to death after a Houston jury heard false and unconstitutional testimony from a defense “expert” that he was more likely to be a future danger because he is black.
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.