Saturday, November 20, 2004

Frances Newton's Execution Imminent

UPDATE (9-14-05): Looks like today's the day. More here.

Frances Newton may be innocent, but on December 1, Texas is scheduled to kill her anyway. Newton, a black woman, was convicted in Harris County of murdering her husband and children based on ballistics evidence from the now-discredited Harris County crime lab. She has always maintained her innocence. Her attorneys say she tested negative for gunshot residue at the scene, and was represented by ineffective counsel. Her attorney at trial, Ron Mock, has had more clients sent to death row than any other lawyer.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty set up an
action alert to send an email or fax to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles asking for a 120 day reprieve to re-examine the evidence. I hope it helps.

In an update regarding the ongoing "
smackdown" of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supremes stayed the execution of Troy Kunkle this week after his attorneys argued jurors were disallowed from considering mitigating evidence during the sentencing phase of the trial. Even more discrediting news for Texas' worst court.

David Elliot


Anonymous said...

In Feb 2005 Ron Mock was handed a 3 year suspension for incompetence. That alone should merit Frances Newton a new trial!

MikeyPod said...

just fyi, I have been covering this story on my podcast at