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 ...

Top Criminal Court to Hear Hank Skinner's DNA Plea

The latest installment in death row inmate Hank Skinner's decade-long quest for DNA testing comes today as his lawyers argue to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that a change in state law should allow the tests he hopes will prove he is innocent. State lawyers argue that Skinner had his chance at DNA testing and is just trying to delay the inevitable.

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

Appeals Court Orders Re-evaluation of Death Row Case

The state's highest criminal court on Wednesday ordered a lower court to review a death penalty case that involved a psychologist reprimanded last year for using unscientific methods.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/16/12

Root on the end of Rick Perry's presidential campaign, Murphy on what happens to his campaign cash, Ramsey on his next act, Ramshaw, Aaronson, Murphy, Chang and Seger interactively chart the rise and fall of his run, Aguilar talks Juárez violence with a documentary filmmaker, Galbraith on the tug-of-war over surface water, Grissom and Murphy on three decades of capital punishment in Texas, Hamilton and Aaronson on our workforce needs in 2018 and Tan on the state's much-reduced list of women's health clinics: The best of our best content from January 16-20, 2012.

The Weekly TribCast: Episode 115

Ross, Reeve, Brandi and Thanh look ahead to the South Carolina primary, look back on the history of the death penalty in Texas, and discuss the current state of women's health clinics in the state.

Michael Morton stands in a Williamson County courtroom with his attorneys after murder charges against him were officially dropped.
Michael Morton stands in a Williamson County courtroom with his attorneys after murder charges against him were officially dropped.

Murder Cases Put "Junk Science" in the Spotlight

Michael Morton's tragic wrongful conviction for his wife's murder 25 years ago illustrates the best and worst of science in the courtroom, a judge said on Monday. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 12/12/11

Root's scoop on Rick Perry's working retirement, Aaronson maps poverty in Texas, Aguilar on a voting rights warning shot from the U.S. Attorney General, Galbraith on the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking operations, Grissom on the drop in executions, Hamilton and M. Smith on UT-Austin President Bill Powers' rough year, Murphy and Tan and Dehn on the shortage of psychiatrists and Ramshaw on the federal refusal to exclude operators like Planned Parenthood from family planning programs: The best of our best content from December 12 to 16, 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.

Executions, Death Sentences Drop in Texas, Nation

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Leading a national downward trend in the use of the death penalty, Texas has executed just 13 prisoners so far in 2011, the lowest number in more than a decade. And juries meted out only eight new death sentences.

Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference in October 2011 after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife. Recently tested DNA indicates another man committed the 1986 killing.
Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference in October 2011 after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife. Recently tested DNA indicates another man committed the 1986 killing.

A Texas Issue, but Not a National One

Texas Weekly

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals took some heat off of Gov. Rick Perry when it issued a stay of execution for Hank Skinner this week. And the governor has avoided any link to another case involving two of his appointees and a botched murder prosecution in Williamson County.

Texas Death Row Inmate Skinner Awaits Court Ruling

Facing a Wednesday execution date, convicted murderer Hank Skinner is again appealing to the state's highest criminal court to allow for new DNA tests he says could exonerate him. But the court previously has ruled against him — twice.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/31/11

The latest UT/TT Poll on the 2012 race and other issues, Root on Herman Cain's stumble, Ramshaw and Titus on Texas Republicans who don't support Perry, Murphy maps presidential fundraising in Texas, Philpott on changing the constitution for parks and education, Hamilton on a case of higher ed separation anxiety, Grissom on the state's breakup with a death penalty witness, Galbraith on a congressman's search for a big leak, Aguilar on the Border Patrol's effort to operate in environmentally protected areas and Aaronson on a dramatic drop in government employment in Texas: The best of our best content from October 31 to November 4, 2011.

Inside Intelligence: On the Issues

Texas Weekly

The insiders answered questions from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll for the second week in a row, this time on the death penalty, education, top issues facing Texas, and whether the people they know would vote for a Mormon candidate with whom they agree on issues.

Hank Skinner was sentenced to death for the 1993 triple slaying of his girlfriend and her two sons.
Hank Skinner was sentenced to death for the 1993 triple slaying of his girlfriend and her two sons.

Skinner Lawyer: DNA Decision Likely Up to State Court

Following a hearing today in federal court in Amarillo, a lawyer for death row inmate Hank Skinner said it will likely be up to the state courts to decide a fight over DNA testing in his case. Skinner is scheduled to be executed Nov. 9.

Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife.
Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife.

Morton Case Sparks Calls for Texas Evidence Law Reform

In the wake of Michael Morton's release from prison last week based on DNA testing that shows someone else killed his wife 25 years ago, defense lawyers are calling for reforms to ensure prosecutors must turn over exculpatory evidence.