Tribpedia: Texas Board Of Pardons And Paroles

Tribpedia

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, composed of a chairman and six board members, makes recommendations to the governor about state prisoners' sentences, clemency, parole and supervision. The governor needs support from a majority of the board to alter a prisoner's sentence, which puts considerable weight behind the board's recommendations.

The board performs the following duties, in ...

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TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/2/11

Aaronson on the latest attack on Planned Parenthood, Aguilar previews the sanctuary cities debate, Grissom on a death row inmate's unsuccessful appeal, Hamilton on the UT System's faculty "productivity" data dump, Philpott on the prospect of lawsuits over education cuts, Ramsey on puppies and other distractions, Ramshaw on a tobacco fight, my interview with the presidents of UT-Austin and Texas A&M, M. Smith on a former State Board of Ed member who may have violated state ethics law, Stiles interactively displays the effects of House redistricting and Tan on the Senate budget end game: The best of our best content from May 2 to 6, 2011.

Execution Challenge Is First for Texas Appeals Office

Less than a month before his scheduled execution, Cary Kerr had no attorney. And the ones he had had up to that point, he argues, didn’t do him much good. Now, he’s asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution — scheduled for tonight — and allow him to again argue for his life. Brad Levenson, his new attorney, leads the Office of Capital Writs, created in 2009 to provide better representation for people on death row. 

Dr. George Denkowski conducted psychological exams for more than a dozen current death row inmates. 1) Anthony Pierce 2) Virgilio Maldonado 3) Calvin Hunter 4) John Matamoros 5) Derrick Charles 6) Kim Ly Lim 7) Coy Wesbrook 8) Joel Escobedo 9) Jamie McCoskey 10) Warren Rivers 11) Tomas Gallo 12) Steven Butler 13) Alfred Brown
Dr. George Denkowski conducted psychological exams for more than a dozen current death row inmates. 1) Anthony Pierce 2) Virgilio Maldonado 3) Calvin Hunter 4) John Matamoros 5) Derrick Charles 6) Kim Ly Lim 7) Coy Wesbrook 8) Joel Escobedo 9) Jamie McCoskey 10) Warren Rivers 11) Tomas Gallo 12) Steven Butler 13) Alfred Brown

County Used Doctor After Methods Challenged

Harris County paid Dr. George Denkowski, a forensic psychologist who was reprimanded earlier this month and agreed never again to perform death row evaluations in Texas, more than $300,000 to test defendants for intellectual disabilities from 2002 until 2008. And the county continued to pay Denkowksi even after a judge harshly rebuked his work, according to documents obtained by the Texas Defender Service.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 18, 2011

Hamilton on Victoria's efforts to divorce the University of Houston, Ramshaw on a disagreement between right-to-life groups over laws governing when life ends, E. Smith's TribLive interview with Sen. Kel Seliger and Rep. Burt Solomons on redistricting, Aguilar's interview with the mayor of Juárez, Tan on the continuing hunt for money to buy down budget cuts, Grissom on a psychologist who found more than a dozen inmates mentally competent to face the death penalty, Stiles and yours truly on the House redistricting maps and Galbraith on cutting or killing a tax break for high-cost natural gas producers: The best of our best content from April 11 to 15, 2011.

Dr. George Denkowski conducted psychological exams for more than a dozen current death row inmates. 1) Anthony Pierce 2) Virgilio Maldonado 3) Calvin Hunter 4) John Matamoros 5) Derrick Charles 6) Kim Ly Lim 7) Coy Wesbrook 8) Joel Escobedo 9) Jamie McCoskey 10) Warren Rivers 11) Tomas Gallo 12) Steven Butler 13) Alfred Brown
Dr. George Denkowski conducted psychological exams for more than a dozen current death row inmates. 1) Anthony Pierce 2) Virgilio Maldonado 3) Calvin Hunter 4) John Matamoros 5) Derrick Charles 6) Kim Ly Lim 7) Coy Wesbrook 8) Joel Escobedo 9) Jamie McCoskey 10) Warren Rivers 11) Tomas Gallo 12) Steven Butler 13) Alfred Brown

Texas Psychologist Punished in Death Penalty Cases

A psychologist who examined 14 inmates now on Texas’ death row — and two others who were subsequently executed — and found them intellectually competent enough to face the death penalty agreed on Thursday never to perform such evaluations again. Attorneys for the 14 inmates hope the agreement will help their clients, who they argue are mentally handicapped, to escape lethal injection.

Cameron Todd Willingham: A Timeline

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004, convicted of igniting the 1991 blaze that destroyed his home and killed his three young daughters. The State Fire Marshal's office concluded the fire was arson. Since then several experts have questioned the evidence used to reach that conclusion. The Forensic Science Commission has been investigating the science used to convict Willingham for years and issued a draft report Thursday in advance of a public meeting. Click here for a timeline of the major events in the Willingham saga.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/28/11

Tan's wall-to-wall coverage of the budget (with more from the rest of the Trib crew, interviews with some of the freshmen seeing this up close for the first time and a map of how it works), Philpott on the similarities between budget worries in Texas and those elsewhere, M. Smith explains school finance, Ramshaw on the dwindling insurance options for orphans, Grissom on legal fights over the drugs used for state executions, Aguilar on the run-up to the debate over sanctuary cities, Stiles maps the diversity of Texas counties, Galbraith on efforts to recycle plastic bags and Hamilton on calls for "entrepreneurship" at the University of Texas: The best of our best content from March 28 to April 1, 2011.

This gurney is used to perform executions at Terre Haute by lethal injection.
This gurney is used to perform executions at Terre Haute by lethal injection.

Lawyers Allege Texas Illegally Obtains Death Drugs

Lawyers for two Texas death row inmates today asked state and federal law enforcement to investigate whether prison officials illegally obtained death penalty drugs the state used in nearly all of its 466 executions by using the Drug Enforcement Agency registration number of a long-closed facility.

Jim Willett is the director of the Texas Prison Museum and was a warden at the Walls Unit who oversaw 89 executions by lethal injection. He sits in a replica cell within the museum.
Jim Willett is the director of the Texas Prison Museum and was a warden at the Walls Unit who oversaw 89 executions by lethal injection. He sits in a replica cell within the museum.

Looking Back on a Life as a Death House Warden

Jim Willett had not intended to spend the better part of his adult life working in Texas’ sprawling prison system. But the business student turned prison guard worked 30 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and oversaw 89 executions. Now, a decade into his retirement, he still spends his days surrounded by mementos of lives spent behind razor wire, steel bars and thick brick walls.

Rev. Carroll Pickett holds the world record for witnessing the most state executions as a chaplain. He saw 95 men die by lethal injection during his career as the death house chaplain.

Rev. Carroll Pickett: The TT Interview

Rev. Carroll Pickett holds the world record for witnessing the most state executions as a chaplain. He saw 95 men die by lethal injection during his career as the death house chaplain. He sat down with the Tribune recently to talk about how he "seduced the emotions" of the condemned, why his views about the death penalty changed and how he now copes with all the death he saw over the years.

UT/TT Poll: Texans Are Ready to Roll the Dice

A majority of the state's voters say they're ready for full-blown casino gambling, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. In a range of questions on social and other issues, they say they support requiring voters to produce photo IDs, government aid to the poor, the death penalty and requiring doctors to show sonogram results to women seeking abortions.

Timothy Wayne Adams, convicted of murdering his 19-month-old son, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Feb. 22, 2011.
Timothy Wayne Adams, convicted of murdering his 19-month-old son, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Feb. 22, 2011.

Religious Leaders Advocate for Ex-Veteran's Clemency

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.

Timothy Wayne Adams, convicted of murdering his 19-month-old son, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Feb. 22, 2011.
Timothy Wayne Adams, convicted of murdering his 19-month-old son, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Feb. 22, 2011.

Veteran Who Shot Baby Seeks Clemency

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.

Old Sparky, the electric chair Texas used to executive inmates from 1924 to 1964.
Old Sparky, the electric chair Texas used to executive inmates from 1924 to 1964.

Texplainer: Could Texas Fire Up Old Sparky?

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.