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abolition DNA testing legislature

TCADP June 2019 Alert: 21 states have abandoned the death penalty

In this edition of our monthly alert, you’ll learn about the most recent state to abandon the death penalty. There’s also a legislative recap and details about special events this month in Dallas and Houston.

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execution Harris County

State of Texas executes Robert Jennings

Update, 1/31/2019: Last night, the State of Texas carried out the nation’s first execution of the year, putting Robert Jennings to death for the 1988 murder of Houston Police Officer Elston Howard. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeals less than an hour before his execution. Read more from the Texas Tribune.***Original post, 1/30/2019: […]

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execution Texas death penalty

TCADP November 2018 Alert: An imperfect system

In this edition of our monthly newsletter, you’ll find information about the scheduled execution of Robert Ramos, as well as an update on the case of El Pasoan Robert Avila, whose conviction was based on outdated science and false testimony. You’ll also find details on upcoming events in Houston, Austin, and El Paso and ways to support TCADP as we approach the holiday season.

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commutation intellectual disabilities U.S. Supreme Court

Death sentences reduced to life due to intellectual disabilities

Two men have been removed from death row in Texas in recent weeks based on evidence of their intellectual disabilities. The commutations stem from the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Moore v. Texas, which requires the state to use current medical standards in assessing intellectual disabilities.

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Harris County U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Texas death penalty case of Carlos Ayestas

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider the case of Carlos Ayestas, a Honduran national who was sentenced to death in Harris County, Texas in 1997.  This is the third death penalty case out of Harris County to be granted cert by the Justices in the last year. See the statement from Ayestas’ attorneys […]

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intellectual disabilities U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates Texas’s standards on intellectual disabilities in death penalty cases

Today, March 28, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas must use current medical standards for determining whether a person is intellectually disabled and therefore exempt from execution.  The case – Moore v. Texas – involves Bobby James Moore, who was convicted of killing a grocery story employee during a bungled robbery […]

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Duane Buck U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court rules that Duane Buck deserves new sentencing hearing

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas death row inmate Duane Buck is entitled to a new sentencing hearing. Buck was sentenced to death after a Houston jury heard false and unconstitutional testimony from a defense “expert” that he was more likely to be a future danger because he is black.

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Gregg vs. Georgia Harris County prosecutorial misconduct

New Report Names Former Texas Prosecutor Among Top Five Deadliest Prosecutors in America

A new report from Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project identifies America’s five deadliest head prosecutors out of the thousands that have held that office in the last 40 years. It specifically names Johnny Holmes, who served as the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas from 1979 to 2000; during his tenure, his office secured at least 200 death sentences. Since 2008, by contrast, Harris County juries have sent an average of one person to death row each year.