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Atkins v. Virginia intellectual disabilities Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Texas death penalty case involving intellectual disabilities

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two Texas death penalty cases: one involving egregious racial bias (Buck v. Stephens) and the other addressing our state’s unscientific and outdated process for assessing intellectual disabilities in capital cases (Moore v. Texas). The case of Bobby James Moore raises the question of whether modern standards should be used in determining whether he is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty.

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Bexar County Dallas executions racial bias Supreme Court

Scheduled Executions of Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle Highlight Arbitrariness of the Death Penalty

Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle, both African American, are scheduled to be executed in the next two weeks for murders they committed as 18-year-old youths.  Their cases exemplify the arbitrariness of the death penalty, as the U.S. Supreme Court has banned this punishment for juvenile offenders under the age of 18. Ray Jasper is scheduled […]

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Dallas death penalty executions Supreme Court Texas

State of Texas Executes Robert Harris

The State of Texas executed Robert Harris on September 20, 2012, for the 2000 murders of former co-workers Rhoda Wheeler and Augustin Villasenor at the Mi-T-Fine Car Wash in Irving (Dallas County) from which he had been fired three days earlier. Three other people were killed in the assault on the car wash. This was the eighth […]

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clemency clemency campaign criminal justice flaws death penalty death sentences execution Governor Perry Governor Rick Perry Mexican National poor defense representation Stay of execution Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Urged to Stay Execution of Humberto Leal Garcia

On Monday, Humberto Leal Garcia’s attorneys and the Mexican government jointly appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay Leal’s execution. Three judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a concurring opinion which stated that the pardons board and Governor Perry should stay Mr. Leal’s execution.

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execution Supreme Court

Supreme Court Halts Execution of John Balentine

The high court said it stopped the lethal injection to review a petition from Balentine’s lawyer that contended his legal help at trial and in early stages of his appeal was deficient. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused a similar appeal and Balentine’s attorney, Lydia Brandt, wanted the Supreme Court to look at that […]

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Kennedy Decision Supreme Court

Supreme Court Rules 5-4 in Kennedy vs Louisianna Decision

The Court has released the opinion in Kennedy v. Louisiana (07-343), on whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits states from imposing the death penalty for child rape, and, if not, whether Louisiana’s statute fails to narrow the class of offenders eligible for the death penalty. The Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to impose the […]

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Baze lethal injection Supreme Court

Lethal Injection Ruling Distraction from Real Death Penalty Concerns

April 16, 2008 – The U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol sidesteps the critical issues surrounding the death penalty debate in the U.S., the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty said today. “The death penalty system was a flawed public policy before the Supreme Court agreed to review Kentucky’s lethal injection […]