September 26, 2018
Texas with back-to-back executions scheduled for this week
There has not been an execution in the United States for more than a month, but as detailed this local article, Texas is slated to have its machinery of death in operation twice in the coming days:
The East Texas man convicted of drowning a former housemate and stuffing her body into a barrel of lime is slated to die Wednesday in the first of two consecutive executions in the Lone Star State.
If both punishments go through as planned, it'll be the first time in just over six years that Texas has put to death two prisoners in two nights.
Both men say they're innocent, and the pair of impending executions — first of Troy Clark, then of Daniel Acker — has attracted attention from actress Susan Sarandon, author Mary Buser and renowned death penalty abolitionist Sister Helen Prejean. "Texas plans to execute Troy Clark on Wednesday but there are some serious problems with his case," Prejean tweeted. "Troy has always maintained his innocence. Someone else made a detailed confession and then completely changed her story in exchange for a reduced sentence."
Clark was sentenced to die in 2000 for killing Christina Muse out of fear the young mother would snitch on him for his drug use, according to court records. He was convicted in part due to the testimony of his then-girlfriend Tory Bush, who admitted to the crime then fingered Clark — even though there was no physical evidence connecting him to the murder....
In the years since he was sent to death row, Clark has argued that he suffered bad lawyering, didn't get to show evidence rebutting claims he would be a future danger to society, and that his girlfriend's testimony was self-serving and unreliable — especially considering she once confessed to the crime herself....
But the Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday afternoon denied his request for clemency. As of early Tuesday, he had no pending appeals, his attorneys said.
A day after Clark's scheduled date with death, Acker is slated for execution. The Sulphur Springs man was sent to death row in 2001 after he was convicted of strangling his girlfriend and pushing her from a moving car — though the state abandoned the strangulation theory after trial.
The Lone Star State has already executed eight men this year, and another nine death dates are on the calendar.
September 26, 2018 at 11:25 AM | Permalink