This edition of our monthly newsletter addresses the continued impact of COVID-19 on use of the death penalty and prison conditions in Texas. It also includes updates on cases involving intellectual disability claims, federal executions, and use of the death penalty worldwide.
The number of new death sentences and executions declined in 2019, according to a new report from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP). Texas juries rejected the death penalty in 50% of the cases presented to them this year. The cases that were scheduled for execution this year underscored persistent concerns about the fairness and accuracy of Texas’s death penalty system.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has granted a stay of execution to Dexter Johnson, less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to be put to death, based on evidence of his intellectual disability. It is the second time in five months a federal court has intervened in this case and stopped Johnson’s execution.
A federal judge has stayed the execution of Dexter Johnson, scheduled for May 2, after determining his newly-appointed lawyer needed more time to review the case and investigate any undeveloped claims.
Today, February 19, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam decision in the case of Moore v. Texas, finding that Bobby James Moore is intellectually disabled and should be exempt from the death penalty. Moore has been on death row in Texas since 1980. This is the second time the Supreme Court has […]
Update as of 1:30 PM: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) has stopped the state’s first scheduled execution of the year, pointing to changes in bite mark science and laws regarding intellectual disability and the death penalty, per the Texas Tribune. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 ruling in Moore v. Texas found the state of […]