On Wednesday, July 6, a Texas state district judge withdrew the execution order for Perry Eugene Williams, who was scheduled to be put to death Thursday, July 14 for the 2000 murder of Houston medical student Matthew Carter. Williams’ execution was delayed indefinitely after state officials failed to provide testing results for the purity of lethal injection drugs. According to state officials, this is the first time an execution has been postponed for this reason.
The state agreed to test the purity of the drugs to settle a lawsuit involving Williams and another individual on death row, Thomas Whitaker. Maurie Levin, one of Williams’ attorneys, had this to say about the testing:
It’s a mystery to me how they could not meet the deadline, because no further explanation has been given. But the bottom line is, this is the problem with the secrecy of the process of executions.
This is Williams’ second stay of execution. Last September, his execution date was withdrawn to appoint new attorneys to his case.
The State of Texas has put six people to death in 2016. There have been 14 executions nationwide. At this time, there are six additional executions scheduled to take place in Texas through October 2016. This is the fourth execution to be stayed or withdrawn by the courts in 2016.