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May 17, 2006

Texas executions back on track

As detailed in this article, the halt to Texas executions due to lethal injection concerns appears to have been quite short lived:

In a stunning about-face, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today lifted the stay of execution it granted this week for Derrick Sean O'Brien, who was condemned for the 1993 murders of two Houston teenagers....

In a 5-4 ruling late today, the court vacated the reprieve it gave O'Brien.  O'Brien, 31, had been scheduled to die Tuesday.  The dissent raised the issue of execution protocol and pointed to the Florida case before the U.S. Supreme Court on drugs used in lethal injections.  That ruling is expected before July.

"We have now reviewed this subsequent application and find that it should be dismissed," the court said in a brief four-paragraph ruling.  Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Cathy Cochran wrote in an accompanying opinion concurring with the full court's decision that the panel gave the reprieve Monday to have sufficient time to assess the lethal injection procedures used by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The opinions from Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in the O'Brien case can be accessed at this page.

UPDATE: As detailed in this news report, Texas executed Jermaine Herron this evening after all courts (including the Supreme Court) refused to grant a stay based on lethal injection issues.  But, O'Brien (whose execution had been scheduled for yesterday) is still alive because I believe Texas needs to have a new execution date scheduled.

May 17, 2006 at 09:21 PM | Permalink


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Nobody has ever held that executions must be painless !!! They never have been painless, and therefor lethal injection is Constitutional. Executions should commence without further delay!!! The death penalty is specifically contemplated several times in the Constitution, and it has has never been painless, and was more painful previous to lethal injection, so it can not be "Cruel and Unusual" punishment!!! The rest is just bleeding-heart pro-criminal whiny crap!!!

Posted by: Charles F. Weeks, Esquire | May 23, 2006 11:11:18 AM

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