Breaking: Attorneys for Chris Young file federal complaint

July 13, 2018

This afternoon, attorneys for Christopher Anthony Young filed a complaint in federal court in response to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles’ 6 to 0 vote to deny Young’s clemency application.  Young faces execution by the State of Texas on July 17, 2018.

Chris Young is African-American.  The complaint argues that while the clemency board has broad discretion in exercising its duties, it is not permissible to take race into account in either granting or denying clemency, yet race appears to have played a decisive role in the Board’s decision to deny Young a commutation of this sentence.   The complaint draws parallels to the case of Thomas Whitaker, who received a unanimous recommendation for clemency from this same Board on February 20, 2018.

According to the complaint, “Young is entitled to a stay of execution so that his lawyers have the opportunity to examine the Board members under oath and ascertain whether what appears to be the driving force in this case was in fact the driving force – to determine whether Whitaker received clemency because he is white, while Young did not because he is black.”

The complaint is available here:

Attorneys David R. Dow and Jeff Newberry are available to answer questions about Mr. Young’s case. Contact Mr. Newberry at 713-743-6843 or