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Death Penalty

Texas Will See Lowest Number Of Executions In 20 Years

Oct 11, 2016
The Texas Tribune

For the first time in 20 years, the number of Texas executions will fall out of double digits this year.

IMAGE VIA PIXABAY/WERBEFABRIK (CC0 1.0) / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal court has rejected a lawsuit by five Texas death row inmates who say the lethal drugs to be used in their executions need to be retested shortly before to ensure they will suffer no unusual pain.

Report Finds Almost 7,000 In-Custody Deaths In Texas

Jul 28, 2016
txking /

Almost 7,000 individuals in Texas have died while in police custody or behind bars over the past 10 years, according to an online report released Wednesday by a University of Texas at Austin research institute.


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear appeals from two African-American death-row inmates in Texas, including one who argued his sentence was based on his race.

Update: Court Stops Execution Of Former Dallas Accountant Who Killed His Daughters

Mar 30, 2016
Dallas County court files/Texas Tribune

Update, 11:23 a.m. from Associated Press: A federal appeals court has stopped the scheduled lethal injection of a former Dallas accountant set to die for gunning down his two young daughters in 2001 while his ex-wife - their mother - was listening helplessly on the phone.

New Death Sentences In Texas Drop To 40-Year Low

Dec 16, 2015
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Texas juries imposed only two new death sentences in 2015, the fewest since the death penalty was reinstated nationwide almost 40 years ago, according to a national report released Wednesday.

Texas Poised To See New Low In Death Sentences

Oct 22, 2015
Texas Tribune

Texas is on track to see fewer death sentences handed down in 2015 than in any other year since the state’s death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

From Texas Standard:

There is an execution scheduled for Wednesday in Oklahoma – but Texas is tied to the case.

According to a court filing, the lawyer for an Oklahoma death row inmate is claiming that his client shouldn't have to use an alternative to pentobarbital, one of the chemicals in the lethal injection cocktail. The filing argues that Texas is compounding its own pentobarbital and has sold the lethal injection drug to at least one other death penalty state: Virginia.


The Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial drug that has been implicated in several botched executions.

First Texas Execution Of 2015 Carried Out

Jan 22, 2015
Texas Tribune

A New Mexico man convicted for a drug-fueled triple murder in San Antonio in 1993 was executed on Wednesday, the first Texas inmate put to death under Gov. Greg Abbott, who was sworn into office on Tuesday.

Texas Tribune/TDCJ

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a death row inmate's execution has been halted; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will run for re-election; the fight between Dallas chefs and a restaurant critic gets national publicity; and more. 

Texas Tribune

Update, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday: An Arlington woman was executed  Wednesday night for the murder of her girlfriend’s young son. 

Update at 4:57 p.m. ET. Federal Court Halts Execution:

With just hours to go, a federal court has halted the execution of Texas inmate Robert Campbell.

The execution would have been the first since Oklahoma botched one in April.

The ruling has nothing to do with the drug shortage that's dominated the narrative over the death penalty in the country. Instead, Campbell's lawyers argued that the state knew that Campbell was intellectually disabled but did not let his defense team know that.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Texas plans to execute its next death row inmate on May 13 despite a controversial botched execution in Oklahoma using a three-drug cocktail. SMU criminal law professor Meghan Ryan sat down with KERA to discuss why Texas uses a single lethal dose of pentobarbital, but reportedly stocks midazolam, one of the drugs used in Oklahoma. 

Phatthanun/Shutterstock /

The drug used in Tuesday night’s botched execution in Oklahoma – midazolam – is stored by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and can be used at any time in the state's death penalty protocol, raising concerns among defense lawyers and others about the state’s secretive lethal injection process.

Documents obtained by defense attorneys and shared with The Texas Tribune show that TDCJ obtained midazolam last June, has approximately 30 vials of the drug and the expiration date for them is 2015.

Oklahoma authorities quickly shielded reporters attending the Tuesday night execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett — the first of two scheduled executions there that night; the second was stayed — after the inmate was given the drug midazolam, the first of a new three-drug execution cocktail used in that state.

Update at 8:19 p.m. ET. Execution Fails:

According to reporters tweeting from inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, the execution of Clayton D. Lockett has failed. Lockett died of a heart attack after the execution was aborted.

The execution of Charles Warner, which was supposed to take place at 9 p.m. ET., was stayed by Corrections Director Robert Patton.

According to the AP reporter on the scene, about 34 minutes after the execution was scheduled to begin, Lockett was still conscious.


A state judge has ordered the Texas prison agency to disclose to attorneys for two inmates its supplier of a new batch of execution drugs.
The ruling Thursday in Austin comes one day after attorneys for two death row inmates filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice seeking the information. Texas prison officials say they will appeal the ruling.

Texas Finds New Drug Supply For Executions

Mar 19, 2014

Texas has obtained a new batch of the drugs it uses to execute death row inmates, allowing the state to continue carrying out death sentences once its existing supply expires at the end of the month.

But correction officials will not say where they bought the drugs, arguing that information must be kept secret to protect the safety of its new supplier. In interviews with The Associated Press, officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice also refused to say whether providing anonymity to its new supplier of the sedative pentobarbital was a condition of its purchase.


Update, 8:16 a.m. Thursday: A Mexican national has been executed in Texas for killing a Houston police officer, despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department to halt the punishment.

Edgar Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection Wednesday night for the January 1994 fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24.


The state’s death penalty system has made progress in recent years but continues to fall short, according to a report issued today by the American Bar Association.

The 500-page report offers several recommendations:

rp4prez2008 / (cc) flickr

Dallas County is reporting another death from West Nile Virus, the seventh this season.

Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios / U.S. Air Force

The eight Texas National Guard C-130 cargo planes will stay in Fort Worth at least until fiscal year 2014. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to keep the planes at the Fort Worth Naval Air Station for the time being.