execution Texas U.S. Supreme Court

State of Texas Executes Lee Taylor

On June 16, 2011, the State of Texas carried out its 5th execution of the year, out of 22 nationwide.  Lee Taylor was executed for the murder of another prisoner, Donta Green, in 1999 .  According to the Associated Press, of the 469 Texas inmates put to death since executions resumed in 1982, Taylor was only the 2nd white offender to be executed for killing a black person.  Read the article in the Houston Chronicle.

Taylor’s execution occurred one day after John Balentine received a last-minute reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court.  News from the Court arrived just an hour before Balentine’s scheduled execution; he had already eaten his “last meal.”   The Court is reviewing a petition from his lawyers related to the quality of legal counsel in the early stages of his appeal.

In other case news, Cleve Foster, who has received two last-minute stays of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court this year, was given another execution date after the Court declined to hear arguments in his case.  According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a district judge has set the new date for September 20.  There are at least eight other executions scheduled to take place in Texas over the next three months.

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