A state district judge has withdrawn the execution date for Raphael Holiday, who was scheduled to be put to death this evening. It was the last execution scheduled by the State of Texas this year.
According to the Dallas Morning News, “Madison County state district Judge Hal Ridley granted a motion from Holiday’s original trial lawyers that called for a halt to the execution. The lawyers argued that additional time was needed give Holiday a meaningful chance at clemency.”
Special prosecutors in the Texas Attorney General’s Office have asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reinstate the date: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/11/execution-date-withdrawn-for-death-row-inmate-set-to-die-wednesday.html/.
Holiday was convicted of the arson murders of three young children in 2000 in Madison County: Tierra Lynch, 7, Jasmine DuPaul, 5, and 18-month-old Justice Holiday, his daughter. Earlier this summer, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition to review his case, his appointed attorneys told him there was nothing else they could do to help him. They reportedly refused to seek clemency from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Read more about the case:
The State of Georgia is scheduled to carry out the last U.S. execution of the year tomorrow. A new piece by Sara Totonchi, the Executive Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, highlights Five Things Wrong with Georgia’s Death Penalty. She writes:
Since December 2014, Georgia has executed a man whose drunk lawyer bungled the case, a man with intellectual disabilities, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a woman who planned but did not actually commit murder. These cases are no outliers; they are emblematic of a particularly harsh time in our state’s history when death sentences were handed out frequently despite substantive and procedural flaws. And they encapsulate what’s wrong with capital punishment in Georgia.