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March 9, 2023

Texas completes its second execution of the week

As reported in this AP article, "Texas has executed an inmate convicted of the drug-related killings of four people more than 30 years ago, including a woman who was 9-months pregnant."  Here is more:

Arthur Brown Jr., 52, received a lethal injection Thursday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville.  He was condemned for the June 1992 slayings, which took place in a Houston home during a drug robbery.  Authorities said Brown was part of a ring that shuttled drugs from Texas to Alabama and had bought drugs from Jose Tovar and his wife Rachel Tovar.

Killed during the drug robbery were 32-year-old Jose Tovar; his wife’s 17-year-old son, Frank Farias; 19-year-old Jessica Quiñones, the pregnant girlfriend of another son of Rachel Tovar; and 21-year-old neighbor Audrey Brown.  All four had been tied up and shot in the head. Rachel Tovar and another person were also shot but survived.

“I don’t see how anybody could have just killed a pregnant woman and then made her suffer so much.  It’s just beyond words,” Quiñones’ older sister, Maricella Quiñones, said before the execution.

Brown was the fifth inmate put to death in Texas this year and the ninth in the U.S.  His execution was the second of two in Texas this week.  Another inmate, Gary Green, was executed Tuesday for killing his estranged wife and her young daughter.  Brown was defiant in his final statement before the lethal injection was administered. “What is happening here tonight isn’t justice," he said. "It’s the murder of another innocent man.”

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier Thursday declined an appeal from Brown’s attorneys to halt the execution.  They had argued that Brown was exempt from execution because he was intellectually disabled, a claim disputed by prosecutors.  The high court has prohibited the death penalty for the intellectually disabled....

One of Brown’s accomplices in the shootings, Marion Dudley, was executed in 2006.  A third partner was sentenced to life in prison. Brown, who was from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, had long maintained another person committed the killings.

Brown’s attorneys had previously filed other appeals that had been rejected by lower courts.  They argued he was innocent and that a witness actually implicated another suspect.  They also claimed Brown’s conviction was tainted by racial bias, alleging one of the jurors decided he was guilty because he was Black.

A judge in Houston on Tuesday denied a request by Brown’s attorneys for DNA testing of evidence that they said could have exonerated their client.  Josh Reiss, chief of the Post-Conviction Writs Division with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, called Brown’s last-minute appeals a delay tactic....

Brown was one of six Texas death row inmates participating in a lawsuit seeking to stop the state’s prison system from using what they allege are expired and unsafe execution drugs.  Despite a civil court judge in Austin preliminarily agreeing with the claims, five of the inmates have been executed this year.

March 9, 2023 at 08:24 PM | Permalink

Comments

Maybe we can hear more about Madame De Farge while the numerous Leftists here continue to snicker at the multiple victims of this thug -- a thug who should have been executed years ago.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 9, 2023 9:12:47 PM

Bill,

I had tickets to see the execution, but the airline wouldn’t let me carry my knitting needles on.

Disappointed.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 9, 2023 10:52:42 PM

TarlsQtr --

Hey, no problem for next time. I hear the executions get carried on Zoom. Just tune into your favorite website, bloodthirstyracistwahoo.com.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 10, 2023 12:34:40 AM

Judges have an obligation to get these cases done quicker. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 10, 2023 10:16:09 AM

I am still waiting for the Supreme Court to take up a case, any case, on the opt-in provision for expedited federal habeas review. They have done a decent job (obviously not good enough for some) of enforcing the "regular" habeas provisions, but they have so been silent on the chapter establishing expedited review in capital cases.

Posted by: tmm | Mar 10, 2023 10:47:11 AM

tmm --

My guess is that you support the idea that there are cases in which the jury should be given the option to impose capital punishment. Am I right about that?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 10, 2023 3:38:24 PM

Bill, since I have worked as a prosecutor or assistant AG on eight cases (at different stages of the process) in which the death penalty was imposed, you can take that as a given. I also approve of my state's law permitting the judge to make the decision if the jury hangs at the weighing stage. Of the eight cases that I worked on, all definitely merited receiving the death penalty. The only one that I had questions about was more the strategic question of whether it was worth the resources given that it was a cold case homicide that was over thirty years old, and I did not see much chance that the defendant would live long enough to be executed.

Like most prosecutors who have handled these types of cases, I am quite happy that it is somebody else's turn to handle these cases as the decision to seek the death penalty is a hard decision to make, and the cases in which I was involved had very disturbing facts. The last two that I worked on are likely to come to an end later this year with one having a date set for June and the other probably looking at an October or November date as boht have now concluded the normal federal habeas review (although as we all know, there will be a last spurt of new claims on the eve of the execution).

Posted by: tmm | Mar 11, 2023 9:54:53 AM

tmm --

Thank you for that answer. Your participation on this blog is one of the big things that continues to make it worth reading.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 11, 2023 1:29:52 PM

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