death penalty news—-TEXAS

Feb. 23


Death row inmate's lawyers claim client being harassed

The Texas Defender Service is launching an unusual effort on behalf of
Willie Pondexter, who was convicted of killing Martha Lennox, 85, in
Clarksville in 1993. Pondexter is slated to die next week and TDS is
claiming correctional officers on death row are being intimidated into not
talking about whether Pondexter has changed for the better in the last 15
years and deserves clemency. Court documents also claim 2 Harvard law
students who attempted to interview officers were detained by the sheriff
in Polk County, (home to death row), and warned not to come back.

Perhaps one of the oddest claims in the mountain of paper work is that the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice is harassing Pondexter by searching
his cell and "knowing Mr. Pondexter to be especially concerned about
hygiene, removed his sheets, wiped them across the floor and walls and
replaced them on his bed, a practice they had never engaged in during Mr.
Pondexter's 14 years of residence on death row."

(source: Dallas Morning News)