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.
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.
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.
The state put to death 13 men this year. That's more than half the total number of people executed in the entire country: 25. Still, the death row population — both here and nationwide — is at a historic low.