Dallas death penalty intellectual disabilities Stay of execution Texas

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts execution of Steven Long

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) has stayed the execution of Steven Long to allow for further review of Long’s claims of intellectual disability. This marks the fourth case granted a stay by the CCA this year. Long was scheduled to be executed on August 30, 2017, for the assault and murder of 11-year-old Kaitlyn Briana Smith in May 2005 in Dallas County.

Since 2008, Long’s attorneys have tried to appeal his sentence based on claims of intellectual disability. The medical standards previously used by the State of Texas to establish intellectual disabilities have recently been invalidated by the decision in Moore v. Texas.

“In light of [Moore v. Texas] and the facts of applicant’s application, we have determined the applicant’s execution should be stayed pending further order of this Court.”

Read coverage from the Texas Tribune.

The State of Texas has put five people to death in 2017. There have been 16 executions nationwide. There are six individuals scheduled for execution in Texas through November.