reports on Texas criminal justice issues and policy for the Texas Tribune. She came to the Tribune in early 2015 from the Albuquerque Journal, where she worked four years on breaking news and data-driven projects. She is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; while there, she interned as a reporter and online producer at the Arizona Republic and served as the web editor of the student-run newspaper, the State Press.
Under the measure, defendants who have active psychotic symptoms of certain mental illnesses at the time of the crime would be ineligible for capital punishment. The bill now heads to the more conservative Senate.
Johnson was convicted in the 2007 murders of Maria Aparece and Huy Ngo in Harris County, a crime he committed at 18. He was set for execution Thursday before a court ruled that his new lawyer should have more time to look into federal appellate issues.
Prisoners who volunteered for a mental health diversion program say promises of therapy and time out of their cells weren't fulfilled. And Texas prison officials aren't regularly tracking success rates — even as they ask lawmakers to fund an expansion of the program.
Patrick Murphy was one of the escaped convicts sentenced to death for the murder of Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins during a robbery. The high court stopped his execution because Texas officials wouldn’t let a Buddhist chaplain into the death chamber with him.
There are now two sets of bail reform bills named after a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who was murdered while the suspect was out of jail on a $15,500 bond after allegedly assaulting a sheriff’s deputy.
As the state put the 70-year-old to death, his son banged on the death chamber window. After an altercation with law enforcement, Coble's son and another relative were removed from the witness room and arrested.
The chairs of two House committees signed on as joint authors of a bill that would set the method of determining if a capital murder defendant is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution.
In the wake of a midterm election that saw four major state appeals courts flip on partisan lines, Hecht called on lawmakers to consider changing Texas to a system of merit selection and retention elections.
Nearly two decades after the U.S. Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to execute those with intellectual disabilities, Texas still has no process on determining the condition — leaving life-and-death decisions in the hands of courts with very different methods.