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June 12, 2007

Condemned Texas female escapes execution again

As detailed in this AP story, "Cathy Lynn Henderson won a reprieve today from a divided Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, keeping her from being executed this week for the slaying of a 3-month-old child in her care."  Here are more particulars:

Henderson, 50, was scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the death of Brandon Baugh, whose skull was bashed in while she was baby-sitting him.  His body was buried in a wine cooler box as she fled the state more than 13 years ago.  She would have been the fourth woman to be executed since Texas resumed capital punishment in 1982, and the 12th woman nationally.

The state's highest criminal court voted 5-3, with one judge not participating, to send the case back to the trial court because of new evidence suggesting that the baby's head injuries could have come from an accidental fall, as Henderson has claimed.  The high court ordered the trial court to examine arguments that Henderson was innocent of capital murder and that constitutional errors led to her conviction....

in a scathing dissent, Judge Michael Keasler accused the court majority of being "sphinx-like" about Henderson's claims and chided the judges who backed the reprieve without explanation as "indefensible." "They dare not set out their reasons because they might have to defend them," Keasler said.

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June 12, 2007 at 03:48 AM | Permalink

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