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Texas to execute prisoners despite ruling in single case

first_imgChi’s lawyers are almost certain to appeal to the Supreme Court on the same grounds that Turner, 28, used in his successful appeal Thursday. The court said this week that it would consider the legality of the lethal injection formula used in Kentucky, and Texas uses virtually an identical formula.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HOUSTON – A day after the U.S. Supreme Court halted an execution in Texas at the last minute, Texas officials made clear Friday that they would nonetheless proceed with more executions in coming months, including one next week. Though several other states are halting lethal injections until it is clear whether that method of execution is constitutional, Texas is taking a different course, risking a confrontation with the court. “The Supreme Court’s decision to stay convicted murder Carlton Turner’s execution will not necessarily result in an abrupt halt to Texas executions,” said Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. “State and federal courts will continue to address each scheduled execution on a case-by-case basis.” Shortly before midnight Thursday, the Supreme Court stayed the execution of Turner, who had been scheduled to become the state’s 26th inmate be put to death this year by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. Although the court gave no reason for its order, Turner, convicted of murdering his adoptive parents in 1998, had appealed to the court after it agreed on Tuesday to consider the constitutionality of lethal injection, the most commonly used method of execution in the United States. Several legal experts said the Supreme Court’s reprieve would be seen by most states as a signal to halt all executions until the court determines, probably sometime next year, whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, barred by the Eighth Amendment. Eleven states had already halted executions for that reason, and on Thursday, Alabama stayed an execution for 45 days to come up with a new formula. “There is a momentum quality to this – not only the Supreme Court granting the stay but also the Alabama governor doing a reprieve that is likely to lead to other states with executions on the horizon waiting to see what the Supreme Court does,” said Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University who writes the blog Sentencing Law and Policy. “I’ll be surprised if many – and arguably if any states other than Texas – go through with executions this year.” Texas, which has a history of confrontations with the Supreme Court over its prerogatives in criminal justice, does not appear interested in waiting, forcing lawyers for condemned prisoners to appeal each case as high as the Supreme Court. Four more executions are scheduled in Texas over the next five months. The next inmate, who is to be executed on Wednesday, is Heliberto Chi, 28, a Honduran citizen convicted of murdering the manager of a men’s clothing store in the Dallas suburb of Arlington during a robbery in 2001. Terence O’Rourke, a Houston lawyer representing Chi, has said that his client’s execution would violate provisions of international law. last_img read more

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