death penalty Houston Stay of execution Texas U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Stay of Execution to Anthony Haynes

This afternoon, October 18, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a review of the case of Anthony Haynes, who was scheduled to be put to death today for the 1998 murder of off-duty police officer Sgt. Kent Kincaid in Houston.  According to the Houston Chronicle, (“Houston cop killer Anthony Haynes granted stay of execution,” October 18, 2012), “Earlier, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and a federal court had rejected the killer’s appeals, which essentially said Haynes’ previous lawyers had provided inadequate representation.”  Here’s an excerpt from the Chronicle:

In his petitions, Haynes’ current lawyer Richard Ellis said the earlier attorneys failed to thoroughly research the case, and had handled the punishment phase of the trial as an “afterthought.” Friends and relatives who would have testified to Haynes’ good character were not allowed to tell their stories to jurors, Ellis said.

Should the high court review Haynes’ case, it will also consider whether claims such as his can be considered in federal courts when they have not been heard in state courts. Haynes’ claims of insufficient counsel were not heard in state courts because they were not presented in a timely manner mandated by Texas law.

High court justices later this month will consider reviewing a case where the arguments mirror Haynes’. The court in August stayed the execution of Amarillo triple-killer John Balentine.

In petitions on Haynes’ behalf, Ellis has argued that his client was a stellar student of good character, an ambitious youth destined for a military career, before he fell victim to drug abuse.

This was the sixth stay of execution granted to a Texas death row inmate this year.

Read more in the Houston Chronicle.