New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Rhode Island
Law Firm Website Design Companies : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Texas Court Halts Inmate's Execution

  Breaking Legal News  -   POSTED: 2007/10/03 16:12

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals brought the state in line with the effect of a U.S. Supreme Court review of lethal injection procedures by stopping Wednesday's scheduled execution of a Honduran man. In a reversal from a week ago, the state's highest criminal court Tuesday ordered a halt to the lethal injection of Heliberto Chi, 28, condemned for killing the manager of an Arlington clothing store during a robbery 6½ years ago.

Just last week, the appeals court was given a similar appeal for Carlton Turner Jr., a Dallas man set to die for killing his parents, but refused to stop his punishment. The Supreme Court, which last week agreed to review whether lethal injection is unconstitutionally cruel in a claim raised by two condemned Kentucky inmates, gave Turner a reprieve a few hours later, sparing him a trip to the nation's busiest death chamber in Huntsville.

The Kentucky lethal injection procedure is the same one used by Texas and other states. Although Chi's lawyers were prepared to go to the Supreme Court, his appeal never got that far.

"I'm grateful there's some measure of common sense descending on the great state of Texas," Wes Ball, Chi's attorney, said. "We're not left in the wilderness."

Chi would have been the 27th inmate executed in Texas this year, far more than any other state.

"We're actually joining the company of perhaps more progressive states like Alabama and Florida," Ball said. "Somebody's finally going to decide this question, so let's stop killing people. If we're supposed to kill them, we can kill them later."

In its brief order, the appeals court gave state lawyers 30 days to address the question of "whether the current method of administering lethal injection in Texas constitutes cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

In their appeal, Chi's attorneys said the execution procedure "creates a wholly unnecessary, unacceptable risk that he will experience excruciating pain and suffering."

The Texas Attorney General's Office has said it will review each condemned inmate with an approaching execution date on a case-by-case basis. Gov. Rick Perry, who could issue a 30-day reprieve, has said through a spokesman that the matter is for the courts to resolve but also has said he believes the procedure is proper.

Early last week, within hours of the Supreme Court announcement in the Kentucky case, the courts allowed Texas officials to execute Michael Richard for a slaying 21 years ago. Lawyers attributed his execution moving forward to procedural hurdles they couldn't overcome in the hours immediately after the high court announced its Kentucky review. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals never ruled in his case because the appeal was filed past the court's 5 p.m. closing time.

In Turner's case, the Texas court voted 5-4 against stopping his punishment. The order in Chi's reprieve listed no dissenters among the judges.

Attorneys involved in death penalty litigation viewed Chi's case as a better indicator of the immediate future of lethal injection in Texas, where 405 inmates have received the toxic drug combinaton since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982.

Earlier Tuesday, Terence O'Rourke, a lawyer in the Chi case working with the government of Honduras, lost a request to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for a commutation request or 180-day reprieve.

O'Rourke's focus was on Chi's inability to contact someone from the Honduran government, a violation of an international treaty, after he was arrested for the 2001 slaying of Armand Paliotta.

The board voted Tuesday 7-0 against a request for commutation. The request for a 180-day reprieve failed in a 4-3 vote.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague, ruling in a suit Mexico filed against the United States, has said the convictions of about 50 Mexican-born prisoners violated the 1963 Vienna Convention because they were denied legal help available under the treaty. President Bush then ordered new state court hearings for those prisoners based on the ruling, but his order applies only to imprisoned Mexican citizens.

Legal News | Breaking News | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

ⓒ Breaking Legal News. All Rights Reserved.

The content contained on the web site has been prepared by BLN as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case. Small Law Firm Web Design by Law Promo Website Design
   More Legal News
   Legal Spotlight
   Exclusive Commentaries
   Attorney & Blog - Blog Watch
   Law Firm News  1  2  3  4  5  6 
   Lawyer & Law Firm Links
San Francisco Trademark Lawyer
San Francisco Copyright Lawyer
Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Indianapolis Medical Malpractice
Chicago Business Law Attorney
Corporate Litigation Attorneys
Government Investigations Attorney in Columbia, MD
White Collar Criminal Defense
Surry County Criminal Defense Lawyers
Yadkin County Family Law Attorneys
Oregon DUI Law Attorney
Eugene DUI Lawyer. Criminal Defense Law
New York Adoption Lawyers
New York Foster Care Lawyers
Adoption Pre-Certification
Chicago, DuPage IL Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Chicago Workplace Injury Attorneys
St. Louis Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyer
St. Charles DUI Attorney
Santa Ana Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Eugene Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy Attorney Eugene
Lorain Elyria Divorce Lawyer
Connecticut Special Education Lawyer
   More Legal News  1  2  3  4  5  6
   Legal News Links
  Click The Law
  Daily Bar News
  The Legal Voice
  The Legal Report
  Legal News Post
  Crisis Legal News
  Legal News Journal
  Attorney Web Design
  Bar Association Website Design
  Law Firm Directory