Texas Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, April 17, 2008, 12:17:51 AM

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ScoopD (aka: Pam)

Well GoB,

unfortunately this doesn't change much. There can and will be delays still.  This just means they have to attach an affidavit to their filing explaining why the dely, if they have a case in another court and have to wait for that court to decide then yeah, it's a valid delay and happens alot. As in the case with Hood, he had 2 appeals pending that day I believe which is why his was delayed until after 11pm resulting in time running out.
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.

Jeff1857

Yeah so instead of these scumyers pulling a last minute rabbit out of the hat, you can make 4 keychains with the feet.  ;)

ScoopD (aka: Pam)

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.

Granny B


Here's a bit more on it. 

http://www.cca.courts.state.tx.us/rules/miscruleexecution.pdf


Thanks, :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*
I just sent an email to Eryn and Melissa about this.
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

Granny B

#19
June 28, 2008, 05:23:06 PM Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 05:28:53 PM by Grandmother of Brandon

Well GoB,

unfortunately this doesn't change much. There can and will be delays still.  This just means they have to attach an affidavit to their filing explaining why the dely, if they have a case in another court and have to wait for that court to decide then yeah, it's a valid delay and happens alot. As in the case with Hood, he had 2 appeals pending that day I believe which is why his was delayed until after 11pm resulting in time running out.


Well, at least there will be sanctions against them, which MAY just stop some of the frivolous crap.  If enough of them lose their scumyer licenses or have to pay enough fines, we may see less of these scumappeals in the future. 

They could fine the damn ScumPoisonous Penguin while they are at it too, I wish, I wish.  Of course she is home free on all this crap.

Maybe we should do a poll on whether she should be called the  ScumPoisonous Penguin  or  the Poisonous ScumPenguin?  Any votes out there?   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

Granny B


Yeah so instead of these scumyers pulling a last minute rabbit out of the hat, you can make 4 keychains with the feet.  ;)


You are a hoot! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

Jeff1857

Is the death penalty a dying breed?


Executions nationwide and in Texas were down in 2008. So were death sentences.

The numbers don't lie - but not everyone agrees on what they say.

Defense attorneys think the statistics indicate a waning enthusiasm in the Lone Star State, the death penalty capital of the country, for the ultimate sanction.

"It has taken a little longer for the transformation to be felt here," said Rob Owen, co-director of the Capital Punishment Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin. "I think we are seeing the leading edge of that national transformation."

Prosecutors doubt that, saying the numbers simply reflect the cyclical nature of criminal justice.

"A real sea change? I think it's too early to tell," said Michael Casillas, chief prosecutor of the appellate division of the Dallas County district attorney's office. "Things are, even in the criminal justice system, kind of cyclical."

Whether the numbers indicate a temporary slowdown or a slow grinding to a halt, neither side thinks the death penalty will disappear any time soon.

The 18 executions that took place in Texas in 2008 occurred in the last half of the year, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that had temporarily halted capital punishment. And 13 executions have been scheduled in the next 9 weeks.

Even in Dallas County, where District Attorney Craig Watkins has indicated his discomfort with capital punishment and the district attorney's office is reviewing the case of every inmate on death row from Dallas, prosecutors are going to start seeking execution dates again soon, said Lisa Smith, deputy chief of the appellate section.

The review of several dozen cases, some dating back decades, is about halfway complete.

"There are cases that are ripe to be set," she said. "Do I anticipate dates being set in the next few months? Yes, I do."

Dallas County has always been sparing in its use of the death penalty, but that hasn't been the case in Harris County, which has led the state in death sentences for years.

But in 2008, not a single person was sentenced to die in Harris County.

That's a significant statistic, Owen said, "just because Harris County has been, for so long in Texas, the bellwether. They really have led the state's enthusiastic pursuit of the death penalty, and it's startling to have a year in which not a single death verdict comes out of Harris County."

Perhaps more telling, said David Dow, litigation director for the Texas Defender Service, was the fact that a Harris County jury refused to impose a death sentence in the case of an illegal immigrant who killed a police officer.

Whether Harris County will continue to limit its use of capital punishment is unknown: A new district attorney, former judge Pat Lykos, took office after the resignation of the previous district attorney, and observers aren't sure how strong her appetite is for capital punishment.

But regardless of what happens in Harris County, Dow and Owen said several factors account for the apparently dwindling death penalty in Texas: a parade of exonerees in the state in the last couple of years, which has made jurors aware of the fallibility of the system; improved representation by defense lawyers; the high cost of prosecuting death penalty cases; and the availability of life without parole as an option.

But Shannon Edmonds, staff attorney for Governmental Relations for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said it's too early to tell whether the life without parole option has made a difference, and he doubts that news of wrongful convictions in Dallas County affects jurors several counties away.

In addition, the cost of capital trials has always been more of a factor in rural counties than in metropolitan areas, where most such crimes occur, he said.

The quality of defense representation and available resources has improved, he said, but he suggested the reason for the declining number of death sentences and executions may be far more simple.

"We have a lot fewer murders than we did," Edmonds said, so "you have a smaller pool of potential death row inmates from which to choose."

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 2,149 murders occurred in Texas in 1993, while 1,415 occurred in 2007.

BY THE NUMBERS

18 -- Executions in Texas in 2008

26 -- Executions in Texas in 2007

11 -- New death sentences in Texas in 2008

14 -- New death sentences in Texas in 2007

[sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice; Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty]

(source: Dallas Morning News)
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Harold had sent me a msg on this to post. Thanks Harold!!  ;)
The Dallas Morning News is notoriously anti DP so I normally take their biased views with a grain of salt. 


Henrik - Sweden

Dear Jeff! Even your view on the DP is biased. But that's alright with me anyway.  ;)

A somewhat late happy new year to you and the rest of the hard-nosed pros. Hope the weather is fine and not to cold (I heard it was f*ck*ing cold in Germany Michael so put some warm clothes on!  :P)

Michael

Thanks for your wishes Henrik.  :-*  I wish you and your kids a healthy and succesfull 2009.

Also I want to thank you for your good advice. Thank good we have enough natural gas in Germany for the next 40 days and more. My car has its own heater which I can start from my house/office. The house and office is warm. .. and for all jobs outside in the cold I have a wife and two children.  So the cold has no big effect on my life. ;D

Best

Michael

Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

JeffB

Yeah, I've heard about the natural gas situation over there Michael...  What's the deal?
"SO SUCK IT YOU "BLUE COOLER" DOPE!"  -  Sylar24

Michael

Same procedure as every year - Russia and the Ukraine are cutting the gas pipes. No prob for germany, we store gas for 40 days. Despite that we recieve just about 40% of our antural gas from Russia. But some countries in the south east of Europe have big problems. .. oh and as far as I know our friends from GB and Belgium have no natural gas stored.

I think that stay start over with the delivery of natural gas today. If they cut the pipes too long the pipes will be damaged.

I think its time that the Iran recieves some new politicans that we can build the Nabuco-pipe with iranian natural gas. Russia had been through all the years a very difficult partner.

So JT, if youre getting cold - you can ask me and Ill try to send you some gas.  :)

Michael
Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Moh

To really know whether prosecutor and/or juror enthusiasm for the death penalty is waning, you'd have to find out if the number of capital murders being committed has also gone down. It could be there are less death-eligible cases and thus, perhaps, less death sentences. Maybe the diminishing of revolving-door justice has kept more dangerous people (potential capital murderers) off of the streets. Intuitively, warehousing violent offenders would seem to lower violent crime rates.

I also have a hunch that jurors and prosecutors are starting to believe that life without parole really means life without parole. The death penalty is more and more being reserved for the absolute worst of the worst--though exceptions abound such as the shocking life sentence given to Brian Nichols in Atlanta.

Jeff1857

Veto threat alters death-penalty bill


Facing a veto threat from Gov. Rick Perry, members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted this evening to drop a controversial provision from a bill designed to keep defendants from being executed who were involved in a capital crime, did no killing themselves.

As amended, House Bill 2267 now will require only separate trials for co-defendants in capital murder cases, where 1 defendant committed the murder and the other did not.

Advocacy groups immediately decried the last-minute change, but said they still supported separate trials.

As approved by the House last week, the bill would have been significant change in the state's death-penalty law, one that was vehemently opposed by prosecutors and cheered by death-penalty opponents.

Under current law, known as "the law of parties," multiple defendants in a capital murder case can face execution, even if they did not pull the trigger.

Texas has been criticized nationally in past years for cases in which the triggerman cut a deal with police and escaped execution, after testifying against a co-defendant who did not pull the trigger but was executed.

Prosecutors have argued that if defendants participate together in a crime, even if one stands and watches an accomplice commit murder, they should be held equally liable.

"We wanted that provision to stay in, but the Governor's Office made it clear they would veto the bill if that went through," said state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen. "At least we're changing it so co-defendants will have to be tried separately. You won't taint an accomplice by having them sit beside the triggerman in court at the same trial."

While Hinojosa said he was not satisfied with the change, "we're not going to get any progress on this area of law until we get another governor. I realize that, so we do what we can."

After the disputed wording was deleted, the bill was passed unanimously by the committee, the last stop before the measure will come for a vote by the full Senate.

When the measure passed the House last Friday, its sponsors tagged it the "Kenneth Foster Jr. Act," after a man whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by Perry in 2007.

Foster was sentenced to die as a co-defendant in a case, even though he did not kill anyone. He was convicted in a trial with the killer.

A similar case involving a condemned co-defendant, Jeff Wood, has been championed as a reason to change the law. Wood remains on death row, after his co-defendant -- the killer -- has been executed.

"It will be an important reform to require separate trials in capital cases, but we will be disappointed if the provision to prohibit the state from seeking the death penalty in law of parties cases is removed from the bill. People who do not kill anyone should not be punished by death," Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network, a death-penalty opposition group, said before the committee's vote.

"This bill is very important because it touches the lives of innocent people that did not kill and are waiting to be executed for crimes that they did not commit."

(source: Austin American-Statesman)


Michael

1/3 of Death Penalty Attorneys Overworked: Study

One-third of Harris County attorneys approved to try death penalty cases are overworked and exceeded a national standard that recommended an annual limit of 150 felony clients, according to a newspaper investigation.

The Houston Chronicle's investigation found 220 days in which attorneys approved to represent clients facing life or death sentences appear to have accepted more than the limit of five assignments per day. Some took as many as 10 cases.

Ten of 32 Harris County lawyers approved by judges to represent clients facing life or death sentences regularly exceeded the limit of 150 felony clients annually, set up in 1973 and adopted by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

The lawyers, each assigned anywhere from one to 10 capital cases, simultaneously juggled 160 to 360 other felony clients each year, according to an analysis of official district court appointments from 2004-2009.

"That's way too many cases and would not leave time for any other cases, particularly capital cases," said Stephen Bright. He is an expert in capital case representation who has taught at Yale and Harvard law schools and reviewed the newspaper's findings.

The newspaper said it also found at least 12 examples in which judges broke their own requirement that capital murder case appointments be spaced at least 60 days apart. A breakdown in an internal tracking system is also getting the blame.

Harris County District Court Clerk Loren Jackson said a tool could be built to track attorney appointments.

And two of the Harris County judges, Belinda Hill and Shawna Reagin, said it might help judges to receive reports on caseloads before making capital appointments, though both said numbers alone should not govern decisions.

One attorney -- Jerome Godinich -- has been chastised by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this year for repeatedly failing to meet federal death penalty deadlines.

Godinich has represented an average of 360 felony clients per year in Harris County -- a caseload that surpasses every other similar attorney.

He defended his record in a letter to the newspaper.

One of his hundreds of Harris County clients, Phillip Hernandez, has been awaiting trial for 18 months on child sexual abuse charges. He says Godinich has never visited him in jail to discuss his innocence claim.

Hernandez's pre-trial hearing was scheduled earlier this month, but the inmate said he learned it had been postponed at the last minute from a bailiff. Godinich did not attend court that day, records show.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/One-Third-of-Death-Penalty-Attorneys-Overworked-Study-Says.html
Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Hutchsmash

"This bill is very important because it touches the lives of innocent people that did not kill and are waiting to be executed for crimes that they did not commit."

What a load of  :-\.  These people convicted under the law of parties are not innocent.  They participated in the underlying felony and are in the very least, guilty of that offense.  It makes me sick when these thugghuggers throw around the word, "innocent".  Get your head screwed on straight buddy.
"How come life in prison doesn't mean life? Until it does, we're not ready to do away with the death penalty. Stop thinking in terms of "punishment" for a minute and think in terms of safeguarding innocent people from incorrigible murderers."

JESSE VENTURA, I Ain't Got Time to Bleed

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