Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Mark Robertson

Today, April 8, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a stay of execution for Mark Robertson. He was scheduled to be put to death on Thursday, April 11, after more than 28 years on death row in Texas.

According to the Texas Tribune, “His appellate lawyers asked the Texas court to stop his death because Robertson’s original trial lawyer discriminated against potential jurors who were black, claiming they would ‘not be sympathetic’ toward his client,” who is white.

Read additional coverage from the Houston Chronicle.

Robertson was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of Edna Brau in Dallas County. In his 1991 trial, he also received two life sentences for the murder of Sean Hill, Brau’s grandson, and Jeffrey Saunders, a convenience store clerk. 

This is the second execution stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to date in 2019. In a third case, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay at the eleventh hour to Patrick Murphy on March 28, 2019. Two other executions have been allowed to proceed.