Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Texas Good To Go on Killing Its Citizeny

The Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas has put an end to Judge's Fine's hearing on the constitutionality of Texas' death penalty.
Because there is no basis under Texas law to conduct a pretrial evidentiary hearing to determine the “as applied” constitutionality of a state penal or criminal procedural statute, we conclude that the trial judge does not have legal authority to conduct any such pretrial evidentiary hearing and make any such pretrial declaratory judgment. He is acting beyond the scope of his lawful authority. Therefore, the State has demonstrated a clear right to relief. We conditionally grant mandamus and prohibition relief and, if he does not do so himself, will order the trial judge to dismiss Mr. Green’s “Amended Motion...
I believe the CoCA ruling is correct as a matter of law. Read the entire ruling at the link if you wish to make your own informed decision.

I believe that Judge Fine is correct, as a matter of fact, when he claims that innocent people have been executed. Though I am far from my stated goal of reviewing all 460+ executions in Texas, I have already found four people probably innocent but definitely executed. Those four are:

Each of those four appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas for relief. Each was denied relief. Each died with a needle in his or her arm.

Regarding Spence, one of three alleged accomplices is still alive and still serving a life sentence. The likely actual culprit is dead, having shot himself in the head when the police attempted to arrest him for the fatal stabbing of an elderly couple.

I now have the trial transcripts and many other documents for the Spence case. I have much more research to do. I'll be writing more about his case this year.

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