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January 18, 2018

Texas completes first execution of 2018

As reported in this AP piece, headlined "'Tourniquet Killer' executed in Texas for 1992 strangling," the first execution of the year was completed in Texas this evening. Here is the story:

Texas carried out the nation's first execution of 2018 Thursday evening, giving lethal injection to a man who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of his signature murder technique on four female victims. Anthony Allen Shore was put to death for one of those slayings, the 1992 killing of a 21-year-old woman whose body was dumped in the drive-thru of a Houston Dairy Queen.

In his final statement, Shore, 55, was apologetic and his voice cracked with emotion. "No amount of words or apology could ever undo what I've done," Shore said while strapped to the death chamber gurney. "I wish I could undo the past, but it is what it is."

As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, Shore said the drug burned. "Oooh-ee! I can feel that," he said before slipping into unconsciousness. He was pronounced dead 13 minutes later at 6:28 p.m. CST.

"Anthony Allen Shore's reign of terror is officially over," Andy Kahan, the city of Houston crime victims' advocate, said, speaking for the families of Shore's victims. "There's a reason we have the death penalty in the state of Texas and Anthony Shore is on the top of the list. This has been a long, arduous journey that has taken over 20 years for victims' families."

Shore's lawyers argued in appeals he suffered brain damage early in life that went undiscovered by his trial attorneys and affected Shore's decision to disregard their advice when he told his trial judge he wanted the death penalty. A federal appeals court last year turned down his appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case and the six-member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously rejected a clemency petition.

In 1998, Shore received eight years' probation and became a registered sex offender for sexually assaulting two relatives. Five years later, Shore was arrested for the 1992 slaying of Maria del Carmen Estrada after a tiny particle recovered from under her fingernail was matched to his DNA. "I didn't set out to kill her," he told police in a taped interview played at his 2004 trial. "That was not my intent. But it got out of hand."...

He also confessed to killing three others, a 9-year-old and two teenagers. All four of his victims were Hispanic and at least three had been raped. Jurors also heard from three women who testified he raped them.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, who as an assistant prosecutor worked the then-unsolved Estrada case, said crime scene photos showed Estrada was tortured and had suffered as a stick was used to tighten a cord around her neck. "I know this case, I know his work and the death penalty is appropriate," she said. "A jury in this case gave Shore death. ... I think he's reached the end of the road and now it's up to government to complete the job."

Besides Estrada, Shore confessed to the slayings of Laurie Tremblay, 15, found beside a trash bin outside a Houston restaurant in 1986; Diana Rebollar, 9, abducted while walking to a neighborhood grocery store in 1994; and Dana Sanchez, 16, who disappeared in 1995 while hitchhiking to her boyfriend's home in Houston....

In 2017, 23 convicted killers were put to death in the U.S., seven of them in Texas, more than another state. Three more inmates are scheduled to die in Texas in the coming weeks.

January 18, 2018 at 09:47 PM | Permalink


He wanted the death penalty, being intelligent. Lawyers made him and the victims' families wait 25 years, until they made their millions of dollars.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2018 11:44:57 PM

Yes, the lawyers have all retired to their condos in Paris.

Posted by: anon1 | Jan 19, 2018 12:40:03 PM

anon1, you are wrong. The lawyers are on their yachts, cruising the Mediterranean

Posted by: anon2 | Jan 19, 2018 12:41:20 PM

An example of the oh-so-rare case where my chief complaint against the death penalty is mooted; how can we be lock-stock certain that we have the right guy?

Posted by: Mark M. | Jan 20, 2018 6:06:19 AM

I don't think true innocence is really something that pops up much in death penalty cases though it is more often the case the there is some doubt that the person (as compared to someone else) deserves the death penalty for a variety of reasons.

Death penalty cases repeatedly have various problems though any serious case probably does too. The professor here, e.g., has written about his concern LWOP cases have problems and do not get enough attention. Death is different etc. so special attention is applied here, such as concern about mental competence.

Still, there are some cases where the opposition to the death penalty is more of a pure sort. The death penalty as a whole is wrong and that is why it should not apply. A tweet by Sister Helen Prejean on this case was of that sort.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 20, 2018 12:14:39 PM

Anons. First, if I give it 2 minutes, I can find your name, address, and that of your employer, and the Disciplinary counsel with jurisdiction over your licenses. You have a time stamp and an IP address associated with your comments. I would never bother you, because you are so funny.

Like the socialists that you are, you are making low wages, but for a long time. I hope you guys make over $90,000. The problem is that what you do has no value to anyone else. You also made the prisoner suffer many decades. Your work has negative value, hurting people.

Finding and defending the innocent would have tremendous value, but that is not what you do. You do legal loophole and mistakes in law bullshit. It is a bunko operation by a criminal cult enterprise. The appellate law business is quite unethical. You are stealing tax money.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 20, 2018 4:14:18 PM

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