Today, a week before his son is scheduled to die, Columbus Adams and a host of religious leaders asked the state to forgive Timothy Adams. His son, he said, was a hard-working Christian and an Army veteran, who never committed a crime before the day he lost control during an argument with his wife and killed their son.Full Story
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 ...
He was an Army veteran and a Houston security guard who had never been arrested until February 2002, when a fight with his wife sent Timothy Adams into a suicidal spiral. During a stand-off with police, Adams fatally shot his 19-month-old son twice in the chest — landing him a spot on death row.Full Story
The short answer is yes — and no. It's still around, and would work if it was plugged in. But it can't be used for executions in Texas anymore.Full Story
Texas has enough supplies of a key drug to carry out only two more executions. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is exploring its options, including what other states are doing. But the drug alternatives are limited and would most likely still leave Texas reliant on nations that oppose the death penalty.Full Story
Texas officials have enough execution drugs to carry out the death sentences of two inmates scheduled for lethal injection in February. But they will have to find another sodium thiopental supplier or a different drug to use after March.Full Story
Texas juries sentenced just eight people to death in 2010, the smallest number since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment here in 1976, according to a report published today by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.Full Story
Harris County District Judge Kevin Fine is set to hold a hearing Monday in the case of John Edward Green, who is charged with fatally shooting a Houston woman during a robbery in June 2008. Green’s attorneys and capital punishment opponents want Fine to find that prosecutors can’t seek the death penalty because the way we administer it in Texas is unconstitutional. “The current system is profoundly and fundamentally flawed from top to bottom,” says Andrea Keilen, executive director of the Texas Defender Service. Prosecutors counter that the ruling should be made by higher courts, not a trial judge.Full Story
The soft-spoken and — until now — media-shy presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals sat down with The Texas Tribune last week to talk about capital punishment in Texas, what she was doing on the afternoon she closed her office at 5 p.m. to a last-minute death row appeal, the flaws in the way the state sanctions judges, what it's like to be known as Sharon “Killer” Keller and the "ridiculous" idea that she doesn't care about defendants or indigent defense.Full Story
The co-director of the University of Texas School of Law Capital Punishment Center, currently representing death row inmate Henry “Hank” Skinner before the U.S. Supreme Court, on what it's like to try a case in front of the high court, how Texas has influenced capital punishment law, why Texas juries are more inclined to impose the death penalty and the impact of life without parole.Full Story
The U.S. Supreme Court heard testimony Wednesday in a case that could have far-reaching ramifications for criminal justice nationally. Lawyers for Henry “Hank” Skinner maintain that the Texas death row inmate has a civil right to access DNA evidence that could exonerate him in the 1993 murders of his live-in girlfriend and her two sons. Lawyers for the state argue that Skinner exhausted his opportunity to analyze potentially exculpatory evidence when his defense team declined to request testing at his original trial, fearing that the results might be incriminating.Full Story
Aguilar on Mexican journalists in grave danger, Galbraith on the continuing saga of Texas vs. the EPA, Ramshaw on whether a broken hospital bed constitutes medical malpractice, M. Smith on the latest delay in the Cameron Todd Willingham case, Hamilton interviews a Sarah Palin-approved GOP candidate for Congress, Stiles goes all interactive in chronicling the massive increase in legislative filings in the last 20 years, Grissom talks about the criminalization of mental illness with an author who knows the subject first-hand, Philpott on closing the budget gap without federal stimulus money, Ramsey on everyone ignoring down-ballot candidates, Hu on the mysterious lack of Rick Perry yard signs and yours truly sits down with the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor: The best of our best from September 20 to 24, 2010.Full Story
Nearly half of all Texans would repeal the constitutional promise of citizenship for anyone born on U.S. soil, and nearly two-thirds would favor Arizona-style laws allowing the police to ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop for any reason, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.Full Story
After a series of investigative reports revealed serious problems with the quality of legal representation for indigent defendants on Texas death row, lawmakers created the Office of Capital Writs. California lawyer Brad Levenson will be moving to Texas to open the new office and attempt to restore some confidence in the state's busy system of capital punishment.Full Story