Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hang 'Em High -- in Texas

Actual executions are in sharp decline across the country. Most capital cases take years, if not decades, to resolve, through retrials, collateral appeals, and lower court remands. Not surprisingly, Texas now accounts for 60% of all executions in the United States, according to the New York Times. Few of the powers that be in Texas are inclined to slow this trend. Quite the opposite:

The last execution before the Supreme Court imposed a de facto moratorium happened in Texas, and in emblematic fashion. The presiding judge on the state’s highest court for criminal matters, Judge Sharon Keller, closed the courthouse at its regular time of 5 p.m. and turned back an attempt to file appeal papers a few minutes later, according to a complaint in a wrongful-death suit filed in federal court last month.

The inmate, Michael Richard, was executed that evening.

(Credit: How Appealing)

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