death penalty news—-TEXAS

Nov. 18

TEXAS—-impending execution

Mental issues raised as Texas inmate set to die

A condemned inmate who recently changed his mind about wanting to be
executed seeks to avoid the penalty tonight in Huntsville.

30-year-old Danielle Simpson is set to die for the 2000 abduction and
slaying an 84-year-old East Texas woman.

Investigators say Geraldine Davidson was bound, hauled around for hours in
the trunk of her car, beaten and thrown into a river near Palestine.

Simpson this year won approval from a federal court that he was competent
to decide to drop his appeals. Then he reversed himself and lawyers now
are in state and federal courts trying to save him from lethal injection.

Meanwhile, a judge blocked last night's execution of 45-year-old Gerald
Eldridge over mental illness concerns.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston agreed to delay the scheduled
punishment for 90 days. Rosenthal said Eldridge's lawyers made a
"substantial threshold showing of insanity" and should be given a hearing.

Eldridge was convicted of capital murder for a 1993 shooting spree that
killed his former girlfriend, 28-year-old Cynthia Bogany, and her
6-year-old daughter, Chirissa.

(source: Associated Press)