04 February 2013

Texas cancels two executions

Last week, two Texas death row inmates learned that they will get to live a little bit longer. This is unusual in the Lone Star State - the execution capital of the U.S. And so these developments are encouraging.

On January 30, state district court Judge Kelly Case stayed the execution of Larry Swearingen, which was scheduled for February 27. Swearingen's lawyers had successfully argued that more time was needed for DNA evidence that could prove his innocence of the 1998 murder for which he was convicted. "I think we need certainty before we have finality," said Judge Case.

One day earlier, on January 29, state district court Judge Larry Mitchell posponed the execution of Kimberly McCarthy, just a few hours before she was scheduled to die. The decision came on the grounds that McCarthy's lawyers need more time to pursue an appeal based on a claim of racial bias in the original trial.

Unfortunately, McCarthy's execution was rescheduled for April 3. That's not a lot of time to appeal a case of so serious a nature.

As of this writing, executions are scheduled for nine additional Texas death row inmates through July of this year. Sadly, I suspect that most will not be as "lucky" as the two described above.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

No comments:

Post a Comment