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New Death Sentence Imposed in Dallas County

On May 21, 2012, a Dallas County jury determined that Roderick Harris should be sentenced to death for the murder of Alfredo Gallardo during a 2009 robbery.  According to the Dallas Morning News (“Killer of 2 Dallas brothers gets death penalty, May 21, 2012):

Harris stormed into the family’s trailer in southeast Dallas in March 2009 and demanded cash, jewelry and drugs. The family gave him what little they had — $2, a ring and a necklace. They had no drugs. During the home invasion, one of the children translated Harris’ words into Spanish because some in the family could not understand him.

Harris also is charged with killing Carlos Gallardo, the brother of Alfredo, but has not been tried for that crime.

The jury deliberated for two days before reaching the decision that Harris should receive the death penalty.  This is the first new death sentence in Dallas County since 2010. Last year, no new death sentences were imposed in Dallas County for the first time in five years.  It also was the first time in 15 years that Dallas County prosecutors seeking the death penalty did not win a capital murder conviction.

Overall, Dallas County accounts for the second-highest number of death sentences (103) and executions (47) in Texas.

This is the third new death sentence to date this year in Texas.