Monday, October 28, 2013

Execution Watch: 10/29/2013

On Tuesday night the State of Texas will kill again...

ARTHUR BROWN, JR., The Los Angeles native was convicted in the 1992 drug-related slayings of four people at a home in Houston. His accomplices were identified as Marion Dudley and Antonio Dunson. In 1997 the United States Supreme Court refused to review his case, but four of the nine justices signed an unusual public statement questioning a Texas law prohibiting juries in the sentencing phase of a capital trial from considering how much time a defendant would actually serve in prison if sentenced to a life term instead.

It is ironic that juries may be told that a defendant may be eligible for parole after serving only a portion of his sentence - an instruction that almost begs a jury to give a harsher sentence when given a choice. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that when the "dangerousness" of a capital defendant is at issue it made no sense that a jury could not be told of an alternative to the death penalty such as life without parole.

Life without parole, by the way, was not an option in Texas at the time of Mr. Brown's trial.

It is even more interesting, as The New York Times pointed out, that it only takes four votes from the Court for a case to be heard. The four justices who signed the statement could very easily have voted to hear the case - but they chose not to do so. The Times article speculated that they may have been worried that the other five members of the Court would have upheld the law on review which would have made the Texas law the law of the land.

For more information on Mr. Brown , click here.

Unless a stay is issued, we'll broadcast live:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 6-7 PM Central Time
KPFT FM Houston 90.1 and Online... > Listen

UPDATE: As has been the case before, the information provided by Execution Watch is incorrect. Mr. Brown's scheduled execution date has been removed from the TDCJ website. No reason was given.

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