Saturday, 10 March 2007

Texas two-step

Texas two-step

Press reports note that on Tuesday & Wednesday night the execution in Huntsville was again busied with the taking of life.

Tuesday evening Robert Perez was killed for the deaths of Jose Travieso and James Rivas in San Antonio in 1994. Perez had been linked to more than a dozen other slayings in the mid-1990s in San Antonio. A federal judge in Houston last week dismissed a lawsuit that tried to stop the execution by challenging Texas lethal injection procedures. Perez was a father of eight.

Joseph Nichols was executed Wednesday night. It is agreed by all he was guilty of felony-murder and was not the triggerman in the murder that sent him to death. At his first trial, jurors were unable to agree on the death penalty and a mistrial was declared. Nichols missed by 30 days a change in Texas law that would have given him an automatic life term if jurors were unable to agree on a death sentence.

I would be remiss in not noting that the State in trial of Nichols and his co-defendant used widely different theories of liability. It is an undisputed fact that a single shot killed Shaffer. For their convenience, Harris County prosecutors changed the facts from day to day and case to case, in one trial claiming the co-defendant was teh shooter and in Nichols case that he pulled the trigger. The Houston Chronicle lays out additional reasons why the justice system failed in this case.

Three more Texas inmates have execution dates this month.

These are the seventh & eight executions by Texas in of 2007. They are also the 386th & 387th execution in the state since 1982. They are the eighth & ninth executions in the nation during 2007. A total of 1,066 men and women have been executed in America since the resumption of capital punishment in 1977. Texas has carried out more than 36% of all the executions in America during this time period.

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