The State of Texas executed Terry Edwards around 10:00 PM last night, despite significant concerns about his culpability in the crime, allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, and racial bias in the jury selection process. The U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution by nearly four hours as it considered several final appeals. Ultimately, the Justices rejected those […]
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.
Today, in an astounding turn of events, prosecutors in Smith County dropped capital murder charges against Kerry Max Cook, in light of new evidence that severely undermined their case against him. Cook spent 20 years on death row in Texas.
The State Bar of Texas recently upheld its decision to disbar Charles Sebesta, the prosecutor responsible for the wrongful conviction of Anthony Graves. Graves spent 18 years in prison, including 12 years on Texas’ death row, and faced 2 execution dates as an innocent man. Since his exoneration in October 2010, he has served as a powerful advocate for criminal justice reform.
Late today the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution to Julius Murphy, pending further order from the court. Murphy was scheduled to be executed on November 3 for the 1997 robbery and shooting of Jason Erie. On September 24, 2015 attorneys filed pleadings identifying the existence of new evidence of prosecutorial misconduct calling into […]