Last night, November 18, the State of Texas carried out its last execution of the year, putting Raphael Holiday to death for 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 in the day, Madison County State District Judge Hal Ridley granted a motion from Holiday’s original trial lawyers and halted the execution in order to give attorneys more time to pursue additional appeals and seek clemency. Special prosecutors in the Texas Attorney General’s Office then asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reinstate the date. The court overturned Judge Ridley’s ruling and ordered Holiday’s execution to proceed.
Holiday’s appointed attorneys essentially abandoned him in the months before his execution, telling him there was nothing else they could do to help him after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his appeal. Despite their client’s wishes, they refused to file a petition for clemency with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Learn more about the case from Brandi Grissom with the Dallas Morning News.
An earlier post about Raphael Holiday is available here.
The State of Texas executed 13 people this year, accounting for half of the executions in the United States in 2015. Five executions are currently scheduled to take place in the early months of 2016.