Texas Carries Out First Execution in 2012; Newbury, Member of “Texas Seven,” Receives Stay

Last night, January 26, the State of Texas carried out its first execution of 2012. Rodrigo Hernandez, 38, originally on parole in Michigan, had his DNA linked to the crime for which he was sentenced to death in 2002. The victim, Susan Verstegan, was sexually assaulted and strangled in 1994 in San Antonio.  It was the second execution in the nation, following the January 5 execution of Gary Welch in Oklahoma. Read more.

The night prior to Hernandez’s execution, another death row inmate, Donald Newbury, was granted a stay by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Newbury had been scheduled to be executed on February 1.  The reason for the stay is related to death row inmates’ initial appeals and the lack of legal assistance that was provided to Newbury. This comes at a time when a similar case is before the Supreme Court from Arizona. Newbury’s current lawyers argued that their client should be granted a stay until a decision is made on the Arizona case. Read more.

Newbury was convicted of killing a police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, from Irving in 2000 when he escaped along with 6 other prisoners.


One thought on “Texas Carries Out First Execution in 2012; Newbury, Member of “Texas Seven,” Receives Stay

  1. According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Donald Newbury’s appeal on March 26, 2012 and will review his death sentence:

    “Donald Newbury and another Texas death row inmate won reviews from the high court Monday on claims that they had deficient legal help during initial appeals.

    The 49-year-old Newbury was to die Feb. 1, but he won a reprieve while the Supreme Court was considering an Arizona case that raised the same issues. That inmate won his appeal earlier this month.”


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