Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturns death sentence of Cesar Fierro, nearly 40 years after his conviction

On December 18, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) overturned the death sentence of Cesar Fierro, who has spent nearly 40 years on death row. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1980 by an El Paso jury for the shooting death of Nicolas Castanon, a crime he claims he did not […]

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Texas Death Penalty Developments in 2019: The Year in Review

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.

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Randy Halprin; execution date withdrawn for Randall Mays

Two Texas executions scheduled to take place over the next two weeks have been halted. On Friday, October 4, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) granted a motion for a stay of execution filed by attorneys for Randy Halprin, who had been scheduled for execution on October 10, 2019. Also last week, a trial court withdrew the execution date of Randall Mays to examine his claim of mental incompetence.

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejects recommendation of relief for Paul Storey

Today, a majority of judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) rejected a trial judge’s recommendation that Paul Storey’s death sentence be commuted to life in prison after he found prosecutors had presented false evidence and withheld evidence from the defense. Storey was sentenced to death for the robbery and murder of Jonas […]

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Stephen Barbee

On Monday, September 23, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) stopped the execution of Stephen Barbee in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McCoy v. Louisiana (2018). The Justices ruled in McCoy that “a defendant has the right to insist that counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel’s experience-based view is that confessing […]

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Widespread support for new legal proceedings for Randy Halprin, who is scheduled for execution on October 10

More than 100 Jewish attorneys, the American Jewish Committee, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism have filed an amicus brief with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in support of a new trial for Randy Halprin. Halprin is scheduled to be executed on October 10, 2019, despite the fact that no court has considered the impact of the judge’s anti-Semitic prejudice against him during his 2003 trial.

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