Sixth Texas Execution of the Year Scheduled to Take Place Tonight

The execution of Ramiro Hernandez Llanas is likely to take place as scheduled tonight, April 9, 2014.  On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied his petition for clemency, while the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice does not have to reveal the source of its new supply of pentobarbital, the drug used in the lethal injection process.  According to the Associated Press, attorneys for Hernandez Llanas do not plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Justices rejected similar arguments in the case of Tommy Lynn Sells last week and allowed his execution to proceed despite concerns about the drug used to kill him.

Hernandez Llanas was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering his employer, Kerr County ranch owner Glen Lich, and sexually assaulting Lich’s wife in 1997. A Mexican national, Hernandez Llanas grew up next to a garbage dump, where his family collected and sold trash to survive. His trial, which was moved to Bandera County, lasted two days; the jury took five minutes to convict him. According to Amnesty International, his low IQ scores and evidence of his adaptive functioning deficits have been rejected by the courts, despite a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits the death penalty for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  The prosecution’s expert, who had never met Hernandez Llanas, asserted that his “adaptive behavior is in keeping with his cultural group.”

Read more about this case and about the victim, Glen Lich, from the San Antonio Express-News.