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September 24, 2009

SCOTUS stays Texas execution based on pending Alabama case

As detailed in this AP report, the "U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday night stopped the scheduled execution of Texas death row inmate Kenneth Mosley a day before he was to receive lethal injection for the fatal shooting of a suburban Dallas police officer."  Here's why:

The court agreed to halt the lethal injection until it resolves an Alabama death penalty case that Mosley's attorney said could affect his case. The Alabama case, to be heard by the high court in November, centers on whether a trial lawyer was constitutionally deficient in failing to raise objections during the punishment phase of the trial.

Mosley's attorneys have raised similar claims, saying his trial attorneys were deficient for not objecting to victim impact testimony from the officer's wife and for not calling witnesses to testify about Mosley's drug and alcohol addictions. Mosley, 51, was condemned for the February 1997 shooting death of Garland Officer Michael David Moore. Moore was responding to a 911 call about a robbery at a bank.

September 24, 2009 at 09:21 AM | Permalink

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Execution Delay in Texas: Capital Defense Weekly reported late Wednesday night that the Supreme Court has halted the execution of Kenneth Mosley. (The order is here.) Mosley's execution was scheduled to take place today, but the Supreme Court agreed to... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 24, 2009 6:31:25 PM

Comments

This is exactly the sort of case I believe the system spends far too much of its limited resources on. If guilt is not at issue, only degree of culpability the jury should be trusted to have gotten it right.

The resources spent on these technical innocence of the death penalty cases should go towards finding those who are actually innocent of less sexy charges. Unfortunately I don't see such a transition occurring any time soon.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Sep 24, 2009 10:54:31 AM

This is a great example of how the unwillingness of states to provide defendants with constitutionally sufficient counsel ends up making the death penalty system so costly and ineffective. Legislatures zeal to punish is actually subverted by their refusal to pay the upfront costs necessary to do so constitutionally. The result is wastefulness and hypocrisy.

Posted by: dm | Sep 24, 2009 11:57:48 PM

BTW, there was an interesting article prior to that one on the victim's family and his wife's troubled ambivalence over the sentence.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Sep 25, 2009 10:17:54 AM

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