State of Texas executes Licho Escamilla

On October 14, 2015, the State of Texas carried out its 12th execution of the year, putting Licho Escamilla to death for the 2001 murder of police officer Christopher Kevin James.  Officer James was working off-duty security at a Dallas nightclub when a fight broke out in the parking lot.  According to the Dallas Morning News, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected Escamilla’s argument that his trial attorneys did not provide evidence of his abusive childhood, ruling that the crime evidence outweighed any mitigating evidence not presented to jurors. Escamilla was 19 years old at the time of the shooting. Read more from WFAA.

This was the first execution scheduled out of Dallas County this year.  Dallas County accounts for 55 executions in Texas; it has not sentenced anyone to death for the last two years, however.

Texas accounts for half of the 24 executions carried out nationwide to date in 2015.  The final execution of the year is scheduled to take place on November 18; Raphael Holiday is scheduled to be put to death for the 2000 arson murders of three children. Four executions have already been scheduled for the early months of 2016.