Tribpedia: Death Penalty

The death penalty is the ultimate punishment for capital murder convictions in Texas, which leads the nation in the number of executions since the practice resumed in 1976.

The state has adopted various methods to administer the death penalty over the years, including hanging (1819-1923), electrocution (1924-1964) and lethal injection (1977-today), according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's ...

Lester Bower, on death row in Texas for 31 years, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for the murder of four, including two law enforcement officers.
Lester Bower, on death row in Texas for 31 years, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for the murder of four, including two law enforcement officers.

On Death Row for 31 Years, Inmate Executed

A death row inmate who has proclaimed his innocence for three decades was executed Wednesday night in Huntsville. Lester Bower, 67, became the oldest death row inmate executed in Texas after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene. 

Robert Lynn Pruett, scheduled to be executed Tuesday night in Huntsville for the 1999 murder of a Bee County prison guard.
Robert Lynn Pruett, scheduled to be executed Tuesday night in Huntsville for the 1999 murder of a Bee County prison guard.

Inmate Set for Execution Seeks Supreme Court Stay

Lawyers for a Texas inmate convicted of capital murder in the 1999 stabbing death of a prison guard have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution. Robert Lynn Pruett is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the fatal stabbing of guard Daniel Nagle.

September 17, 2010 - Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.
September 17, 2010 - Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

Prosecutor Accused of Misconduct in Execution Case

  • 13Comments

In a major turn in one of the country’s most-noted death penalty cases, the State Bar of Texas has filed a formal accusation of misconduct against the county prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man executed in 2004 for the arson murder of his three young daughters.

 

Texas Death Row inmate Miguel Angel Paredes.
Texas Death Row inmate Miguel Angel Paredes.

Court Suspends Death Row Inmate's Lawyer Over Late Filing

The Court of Criminal Appeals has suspended a criminal defense lawyer, arguing that he filed motions to stop executions too late. The move is the latest evidence of an ongoing feud in Texas between lawyers who appeal on behalf of inmates facing executions and the judges who rule on their claims. 

The Slow Death of the Death Penalty

Since capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, the cost of carrying out a death penalty trial has risen steadily. In states such as Texas, where county governments pay for both the prosecution and defense of capital defendants (nearly all of whom are indigent) when they go to trial, the pressure on local budgets is especially strong. 

Death row inmate Scott Panetti.
Death row inmate Scott Panetti.

Federal Appeals Court Issues Stay For Panetti

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday halted the execution of a Texas death row inmate with a history of schizophrenia, just hours before he was to be put to death in Huntsville. In its order, the court says the stay allows it "to fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter."

Outgoing Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Tom Price.
Outgoing Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Tom Price.

Criminal Appeals Judge Price: I Oppose Death Penalty

A Republican judge on Texas’ highest criminal court says he now opposes the death penalty. Judge Tom Price, one of nine members of the Court of Criminal Appeals, wrote Wednesday that he has “given a substantial amount of consideration to the propriety of the death penalty as a form of punishment for those who commit capital murder, and I now believe that it should be abolished.”

 

Death row inmate Scott Panetti.
Death row inmate Scott Panetti.

Panetti Case Highlights Lack of Sanity Standard

  • 4Comments

The fact that Scott Panetti is facing lethal injection on Dec. 3 despite a 30-year history of documented mental illness demonstrates that the ambiguities of the legal standard of “competency” he helped to define are far from resolved.

In 2004, Davontae Marcel Williams, on the left, was found starved to death. Lisa Ann Coleman, on the right, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for her role in the boy's death. If carried out, she would be the sixth woman to be executed in Texas since 1982.
In 2004, Davontae Marcel Williams, on the left, was found starved to death. Lisa Ann Coleman, on the right, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for her role in the boy's death. If carried out, she would be the sixth woman to be executed in Texas since 1982.

Woman Executed for Boy's 2004 Starvation Death

UPDATED: Lisa Ann Coleman, 38, was executed Wednesday for the starvation death of her girlfriend’s son, Davontae Marcel Williams, 9. Coleman is the the sixth woman to be executed in the state since 1982.