death penalty news—–TEXAS

Nov. 18

TEXAS—-impending execution

Board suggests death be commuted in Houston case

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles today recommended that Gov. Rick
Perry commute the death sentence of Robert Lee Thompson, sentenced to die
for a 1996 Houston convenience store robbery-murder, to life in prison.

There was no immediate word whether Perry will follow the board's request.

Thompson, 34, who was convicted under Texas' law of parties, is scheduled
to be executed Thursday.

His attorney, Pat McCann, appealed the death sentence arguing that
Thompson's accomplice Sammy Butler, fired the fatal shot. Butler was
sentenced to life in prison.

The law of parties holds all participants in a crime equally culpable.

(source: Houston Chronicle)


Humble death row inmate wins new punishment

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered a new punishment trial for
a death row inmate condemned for fatally stabbing a Houston-area man.

Authorities say Brian Davis also inscribed a swastika and initials of a
skinhead group on the body of 31-year-old Michael Foster.

The appeals court says Davis is entitled to a new punishment hearing
because of improper instructions given to a Harris County jury that
condemned him for the August 1991 murder at Foster's apartment in Humble,
northeast of Houston.

Davis blamed his now-ex-wife, Tina McDonald, for stabbing Foster 11 times
and beating and robbing him and using a pen to inscribe on Foster a
swastika and the letters "NSSH" which stood for National Society of

(source: Associated Press)