Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Texecutions resume tonight

UPDATE: The execution was stayed pending the Court of Criminal Appeals' ruling on the legality of lethal injection protocols in Texas.

Texas will resume executions tonight for the first time since the US Supreme Court approved lethal injection as an execution method, with activists predictably launching a protest in response at the capitol. Twelve executions have been scheduled between now and the end of the year. For whatever reason, Dallas judges have actually scheduled more executions so far than judges in Harris County, though overall executions from Harris outnumber all other sources.

Interestingly, according to summaries on the TDCJ website, the first five men scheduled to be executed had no prior prison record before they committed the murders that put them on death row; four of those five offenses also involved sexual assault. I don't know the percentage of offenders put to death who'd never been to prison before, but it seems pretty common. Only three of the 12 men with scheduled executions had been incarcerated before committing a capital offense.


Anonymous said...

Isn't kidnapping a felony conviction?

How about 465 kids.

Can we get Judge Walther on that short list.

Anonymous said...

In light of the many, recent DNA exhonerations, a moratorium needs to be in place on executions. This is not an effective way to ease staff shortages in TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

Some just cannot wait! I could not be more ashamed of Texas for jumping in and start killing people before the sunsets. I had hoped the death penalty would be abolsihed, but since Judges Roberts and Alito have been appointed to the Supreme Court, things have certainly gone back to the midevil days.

What is some of the people are innocent, then murder is on the hands of those who ordered their deaths. Only one Judge can decide who is guilty and who is innocent and truly know the truth, and that is Jesus Christ.

May the Lord have mercy on your souls, both those who are being put to death and especially those who ordered it.

Anonymous said...

"I could not be more ashamed of Texas for jumping in and start killing people before the sunsets."

* * *

Isn't there a sayin' down TX way that goes:

"Some Folks Need a-killin"

Anonymous said...

The world will be a better place when Sonnier leaves it.

Anonymous said...

What the fark?!?!!

Who cares if a killer has a prior prison record? Are you suggesting people should get one free murder before facing the death penalty?

Killers need to die, as PAINFULLY as legally possible.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here know where the "Lethal Injection" party is tonight? (for Austin)

Anonymous said...

Its about time Texas got back to work

Anonymous said...

Execution is icky, yucky, desensitizing and dehumanizing. At least we no longer sell popcorn and take the kids.

But there are cases ... honestly, if no one else would do it, I'd volunteer. And I'd sleep soundly with it on my conscience.

That's just the reality that we live with.

Yes it is somewhat 'interesting' that a seemingly high portion of the current lineup are first-offenders. Considering what they are doing to get where they are, how many repeat-incidents do we want to notch up before it's time to say, "Ok, you're done"?

Rape, then murder. Or was is murder, then rape? Sounds like legitimate "One strike, you're out" material to me.

True, the State of Texas carries an extra burben of notoriety in the controversy over capital punishment. Inevitably, though, some states will be more aggressive about it, and others less so. It's just a variable that's going to be there, regardless.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To the genius who wrote: "Are you suggesting people should get one free murder before facing the death penalty?"

I suggested no such thing; that's a pure straw man, and not even a particularly clever one. I've never disputed the premise that there are people in the world who need killin'.

I only observed a common (and to me surprising) pattern that jumped out from the summaries of the 12 cases with executions scheduled. I drew no conclusions and even admitted the sample was too small to know if the pattern is typical.

To read into that observation an opinion that killers should get one murder "free" says a lot more about your delusional assumptions than anything I've written. That's nearly as ridiculous as the people who think giving life without parole instead of death is somehow a light sentence.

Am I the only person who'd assumed most people who wound up on death row had extensive prior criminal histories? Perhaps so.

Anonymous said...

Lifetime achievement award?

Anonymous said...

gritsforbreakfast 04:57 -

I am going use this One-Murder-Free cheap-shot, waste-everybody's-time abuse of Grits to spell it out plain :

Too many of the comments posted under 'anonymous' are draggin' the blog down.

I realize some think they have suitable reasons for doing so, and behave themselves. However, the upshot is, 'anonymous' is attracting & enabling way more than it's share of hogwash.

Anonymous said...

The bad guy got a stay of execution.

"Sonnier was condemned for the 1991 deaths of Melody Flowers, 27, and her young son, Patrick. She was stabbed, beaten with a hammer until the tool's handle broke and strangled. Her child was stabbed eight times. Their bodies were dumped in a bathtub." - By Michael Graczyk, ASSOCIATED PRESS