Capital Punishment

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2014

    Judge Edith Jones Will Face No Judgement, Complaint Against Fifth Circuit Justice Dismissed

    A federal appeals court judge underwent an incredibly rare ethics investigation, and came out the other side unscathed. After initially clearing Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones of any misconduct in August, the judicial counsel at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to that r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2014

    Attorney For Death-Row Inmate Slams State Secrecy On Eve of Execution

    As is typical before any scheduled execution, attorneys for death-row inmate Willie Trottie are fighting the clock. As Trottie - a Harris County man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her brother in 1993 - awaits his date with the country's most active death chamber tomorrow, his appellate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2014

    Local PETA Ad Features Death Row Pigs Over "Death Penalty Capital"

    In a fresh taunt to local drivers, animal rights group PETA is set to aim a two-pronged blow by billboard at Texan meat-eaters. Capitalizing on the state's reputation as the "Death Penalty Capital of the World," PETA's newest billboard overlooking Interstate 45 near Hutchins Street and St. Joseph ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    Second Chances Rarely Apply to Texas Death Row Inmates

    "America is a country of second chances" Rick Perry said in a recent television interview. His declaration was very statesmanlike, but he was referring to himself and his possible repeat performance as a presidential candidate. If he truly believed in the concept of second chances, things might be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2014

    Judge Stays Execution of Death Row Inmate Convicted in Harris County

    Robert James Campbell, whose 1991 murder conviction in Harris County sent him to death row, won't die tonight (and won't be long on death row if his lawyers can help it). A U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judge issued a stay of execution so that Campbells' lawyers could work on an appeal. The ju ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    Texas, Harris County Still No. 1 in Executions, but Numbers Down Sharply Nationwide

    According to a report from the Death Penalty Information Center, there have been only 39 executions in the United States this year, only the second time that number has been below 40 since 1994 and down 4 from last year's 43. This is additionally a decline of 60 percent since 1999 and the number of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2013

    Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Denies Duane Buck a New Sentencing Hearing

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has denied Duane Buck's appeal for a new sentencing, meaning an execution date can be set if the Harris County District Attorney's Office chooses to seek an execution date. Buck was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1997 for the murders of his ex-girlfrie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2013

    Woodlands Pharmacy Wants Lethal Injection Drugs Back

    It's one thing to be the people that make the drugs used in lethal injections, but it's a horse of a different color for other people to know about it. At least that's what Hair Balls gathers from the reaction of the head of the Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy after it was revealed that his company ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2013

    Out of Lethal Injection Drugs, Texas Turns to Houston to Make More

    Texas, the state with the most executions under its belt since reinstating the death penalty in 1976, is solving a shortage on execution drugs by having a Houston compounding pharmacy make the drugs required for lethal injection, according to the Associated Press. Texas and other death penalty stat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2013

    Report: Only 2 Percent of U.S. Counties Behind Most Executions

    Harris County is responsible for 115 executions since 1976 -- by far the highest driver of capital punishment -- but taxpayers statewide have to bear the burden of the costly appeals process, according to a new study by an anti-death penalty group. The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Informati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    American Bar Association to Texas: Your Administration of the Death Penalty is Woefully Inept

    There are a number of legitimate criticisms that can be levied at the American Bar Association: it has accredited far too many law schools such that there are more lawyers than there are jobs, it can be self important and it skews towards the "elites" in the legal profession. That said, it is still ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2013

    Was Duane Buck Sentenced to Death Because He's Black? Will It Matter?

    During Duane Buck's 1997 murder trial in Harris County, a psychologist told the jury that Buck was more likely to be a danger to society because he was black. This would be a huge deal in pretty much any legal situation, but the statement had more direct life or death ramifications in Buck's trial ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2013

    The Hates, the 1970s Gas Crisis, and "Do the Caryl Chessman"

    Not to brag, but I've got a copy of the new Hates album, People's Temple, and it is (as usual) a fantastic little CD that every punk fan in Houston should own. We're still waiting on a confirmed release party at Cactus, but before that happens there's a song on the disc we want to talk about, "Do th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2012

    Criminals and Killers Love/Hate the Raiders, Cowboys and Sooners

    During Monday's sentencing hearing for Brian Kerstetter, the 33-year-old white male who was found guilty of targeting a random African-American man at a downtown Houston bus stop, the prison-bound Kerstetter couldn't help himself from blasting a certain loved/loathed NFL franchise. "I'm not a hate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2011

    Death Penalty Is Going Out of Style, New Report Says

    Texas is still doing its part​America, you just ain't the criminal-killin' place you used to be. A new report from the Death Penalty Information Center says that for the first time since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, less than 100 executions took place in the U.S. There have bee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    George C. Denkowski: "Dr. Death Penalty" Won't Be Filling Up Death Row Anymore

    Death Row cases take another hit.​George C. Denkowski, the forensic psychologist who's been driving capital-murder defense lawyers crazy for years, is no longer allowed to send convicts to Death Row. Denkowski was reprimanded by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and agreed n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2011

    ACLU: When Facing Death, Lizards Are Treated More Humanely Than Humans

    Does Cleve Foster deserve a death at least as humane as that of a lizard? The ACLU thinks so.​The pets of those on death row would be treated more humanely than their owners, if the animals were sitting in the execution chamber instead of them. According to a report released by the American C ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2010

    The Death Penalty Is Totally Passe These Days, Group Finds

    She ain't getting as much use as she's used to​Harris County, you used to be cool. You sent more people to Death Row than most countries. And were damn proud of it, too. Now, the death penalty is a forgotten memory of another time, the go-go `80s and `90s when brash prosecutors racked up exec ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2010

    David Kaczynski: Unabomber's Brother Campaigns Against Death Penalty

    Photo by Craig MalisowDavid Kaczynski hasn't heard from Ted lately​Once you become forever known as "The Unabomber's Brother," there are probably two ways you can go: you can do your best to hide (say, maybe move to a cozy, isolated cabin in Montana?) or you can use your position to further a caus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2010

    Execution Drug In Short Supply; How Will Texas Cope?

    Texas doesn't make rookie mistakes when it comes to the death penalty​The Arizona Republic reports today that a planned execution in Ohio almost had to delay a recent execution because of a shortage of thiopental sodium, the drug used for lethal injections. Arizona, it said, might be unable to do ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2010

    We're No. 1! (In Executions)

    Photo by Katharine ShilcuttA death penalty protest march was held last week in downtown Austin.​In its 2009 Death Penalty and Executions report released today, Amnesty International calls Texas the "worst offender," because -- with 24 executions -- it leads the country in the number of people ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2009

    Amnesty International Begins 200-Minute Vigil Against The Death Penalty

    Amnesty International has just begun a 200-minute vigil outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse to protest the upcoming 200th execution under Governor Rick Perry.The original rally title, "Help Rick Perry Win The GOP Primary," was apparently discarded.But holding an anti-death-penalty vigil in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2008

    The Nation Notices Harris County Ain't Killing People Much These Days

    We first broke the news in October; the Houston Chronicle noticed it earlier this month, and now Time magazine has discovered it: There will be no one sent to Death Row from Harris County this year.Which, in historical terms, is kind of like saying Texas high schools will not be sending anyone to bi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2008

    This Guy Gets Cell Phone Service On Death Row

    Can you hear me now? Even though I'm calling from Death Row? You can if you are Richard Tabler, currently waiting to be executed for killing two people. TDCJ investigators are looking into how Tabler got a cell phone and "use it to call a Houston senator, among others," as the agency's statement s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2008

    No Death Penalties This Year For The Death-Penalty Capital Of America (That's Us)

    Harris County is known as a pipeline for Death Row, but that changed this year. The county hasn't had a death penalty conviction in 2008, the first time that's happened since 1977, the year capital punishment was reinstated and Chuck Rosenthal was hired as an assistant district attorney. The depa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2008

    "World Day Against The Death Penalty" Passes Quietly In Houston

    On the World Day Against the Death Penalty, here in the state-sanctioned-execution capital of the nation, you might expect an elaborate protest or demonstration, like in Japan or India where protesters wore black execution hoods with nooses around their necks and shirts that said “Save Me." There ... More >>

  • News

    March 27, 2008

    Former Death-Row Inmate Sent Back to Prison

    Martin Draughon returns to the clink after becoming a test case for alleged flaws in GPS monitoring devices

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2008

    Sara Hickman: Injecting Music Into the Death Penalty Debate

    The next time you’re at a party or out with friends and feel like bringing the conversation to a standstill, try bringing up the death penalty. It’s the rhetorical equivalent of announcing you’ve got the Hanta virus or, you know, maybe Osama bin Laden isn’t all that evil. But Dallas-raised A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2007

    The Killing Joke

    We were really excited when condemned killer Patrick Knight announced his campaign to find a great joke to tell before he gets the needle tonight. And we were equally bummed when he rejected the list we sent in, which was chock-full of knee-slappin’ knock-knocks, puns, and a classic about a one-le ... More >>

  • Culture

    June 14, 2007

    "Julie Green: The Last Supper"

    Julie Green's "Last Supper" will take away your appetite

  • News

    May 26, 2005

    No Pain, No Gain

    Our solution for saving Texas's claim to capital punishment fame

  • News

    March 11, 2004

    The Icebox Revisited

    Houston had one of its most shocking race murders 45 years ago. But exactly whose tragedy was it?

  • Best of Houston

    September 25, 2003

    Best Champion of the Underdog

    Texas Defender Service

  • News

    July 31, 2003

    Blessed and Bewildered

    Recent debacles demonstrate why District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal needs more than a moustache to match the legacy of Johnny Holmes

  • News

    June 19, 2003

    Bench Blues

    The judiciary starts scrambling after state cuts in visiting judges

  • News

    January 9, 2003

    A Guarded Past

    Texas's impressive new prison museum engages in a little escapism of its own

  • News

    October 17, 2002

    Doing Justice

    Plus: Olympic Bid; Allah 1, Christ 0; Paris Is Burning?

  • News

    October 3, 2002

    Justice for Some

    Just who is a victim? After flexing its muscles to reform the justice system, the victims’ rights movement suffers growing pains over divisive issues.

  • News

    August 8, 2002

    An Absolute Maybe

    There's little doubt that Johnnie Bernal was not a really good guy. The question remains, though, how bad was he?

  • News

    March 21, 2002

    Lethal Legacy

    Yates isn't dying to prove the equity of Harris County executions

  • News

    June 14, 2001

    Executing the Truth in Ads

    Just who is behind the McVeigh ads is called into question

  • News

    April 26, 2001

    Injecting Fun into Death Row

    If your condemned convicts survive, you thrive in this game

  • News

    March 8, 2001

    Knowing Right from Wrong

    Did Johnny Penry's abusive childhood prevent him from developing a moral compass that might have stopped him from murdering Pam Carpenter? Or is he just another cold, calculating killer?

  • News

    November 30, 2000

    The Private Trial of Donald Davis

    A Houston attorney who specialized in saving killers' lives couldn't handle his own. So he took it.

  • News

    November 2, 2000

    Final Passages

    The Reverend Carroll Pickett leaves a grim 15-year legacy of very personal ministry: Granting the last wishes of inmates, moments before their execution

  • Best of Houston

    September 21, 2000

    Best Lawyer

    Richard Burr

  • News

    July 13, 2000

    Death Row Show

    The media makes causes of more and more capital murder convicts. Meanwhile, John Albert Burks dies almost unnoticed, just another inmate moving along on the efficient execution assembly line of Texas justice.

  • News

    June 29, 2000

    Shaka's Last Supper

    He wouldn't eat it, so they did!

  • News

    June 29, 2000

    Hanging with Mr. X

    Quanell comes on strong at Graham's execution, then vanishes

  • Film

    February 17, 2000

    Well Executed

    Mr. Death comes alive in a disturbing documentary by Errol Morris

  • More >>