State of Texas executes Alvin Braziel

In the last execution in Texas this year, the State put Alvin Braziel, Jr. to death on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. He was convicted of killing Doug White and raping Lora White in Mesquite in 1993.  Braziel was 18 at the time of the crime.

Braziel was not linked to the crime until 2001, when a DNA match led police to him as the primary suspect in the rape of Lora White. His appellate attorneys raised claims of inadequate representation during his trial, after his original lawyers failed to present evidence of his abusive upbringing, family history of mental illness, and a childhood head injury as possible mitigating factors in his sentencing. The courts rejected his appeal in September.

According to the Texas Tribune, Braziel’s attorneys sought a last-minute stay of execution after learning Tuesday morning – the day of the execution – about prosecutorial misconduct that allegedly took place during the 2001 trial.  The trial court ultimately refused to withdraw the execution date, however, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied a stay of execution around 6:30 p.m.  Judges Elsa Alcala and Scott Walker dissented.

Read additional coverage from the Houston Chronicle.

The State of Texas executed 13 people this year, accounting for more than half of all U.S. executions.