death penalty news—-TEXAS

Nov. 1


Death row inmate tied to 2 more homicides

A man scheduled to be executed in January for the 2000 robbery and
strangulation of his stepmother has been tied through DNA to a 1991 double

Fort Worth homicide Sgt. J.D. Thornton said a second DNA test has
confirmed the link between 53-year-old Reginald W. Perkins and the
strangulation deaths of Shirley Douglas, 44, and her aunt, 79-year-old
Hattie Wilson.

In June, police said a DNA database first linked Perkins to semen found
inside the bodies of the women.

Cold case Detective Manny Reyes said Perkins had dated Wilson's
granddaughter, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in Saturday editions.

At the time of the killings, Perkins was on parole from an Ohio prison,
where he had served 9 years for the rape and attempted rape of 2
12-year-old girls.

He was returned to prison in December 1993 on a parole violation and
released again in 2000, when he came to Fort Worth and robbed and
strangled his stepmother, Gertie Perkins. A Tarrant County jury sentenced
Perkins to death in 2002 for his stepmother's slaying.

Although he was never charged, Perkins was also the prime suspect in the
strangulations of three Cleveland women in the early 1980s.

He has denied involvement in all six slayings, including his stepmother's.

"Mr. Perkins denies having any involvement in any killings, " said his
attorney, Bill Harris.

(source: Associated Press)


Death-row exonerees ask Texas Legislature for an execution moratorium

A group of death-row survivors called on the Texas Legislature on Friday
to halt executions in the nation's most active death-penalty state and
establish an innocence commission to free other wrongfully convicted

Former inmate Clarence Brandley spent 9 years on Texas' death row before
being exonerated in the murder of a Conroe teenager. Clarence Brandley of
Conroe, Texas, and 19 other men who were on other states' death rows
appeared at the state Capitol to ask for the moratorium on the death
penalty. Mr. Brandley spent 9 years on Texas' death row before being
exonerated in the murder of a Conroe teenager.


"There have been some innocent people that have been executed right here
in Texas. But the politicians are not going to say that." Mr. Brandley


Former Bexar County District Attorney Sam Millsap, who once supported
capital punishment, said he now believes he probably sent an innocent man
to the death chamber Ruben Cantu, who was convicted of a 1984 murder on
the account of a single eyewitness.


State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, is pushing legislation that would
allow Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who has expressed opposition to a
moratorium, to impose a death-penalty ban.

(source: Associated Press)