U.S. Supreme Court declines to halt execution of Daniel Lopez; Tracy Beatty receives stay

The State of Texas scheduled two executions to take place on consecutive nights this week – August 12th and 13th – but the second execution was called off by the state’s highest criminal court earlier today.

Tracy Beatty, who was scheduled to be put to death on August 13th, received a stay of execution from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His attorneys argued Beatty had deficient legal help at his 2004 trial and during early appeals and that prosecutors used improper testimony at his trial. Beatty is the seventh person to receive a stay of execution in Texas this year. He was convicted of killing his 62-year-old mother, Carolyn Click, in Smith County in 2003.

Tonight’s scheduled execution of Daniel Lopez is likely to proceed now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to intervene.  He was convicted of killing 20-year veteran Corpus Christi Police Department Lt. Stuart Alexander with his truck during a high-speed chase in 2009.

Lopez asked the courts to expedite his execution date. At least 28 individuals on death row in Texas have been put to death after deciding to forego further appeals in their cases.