Lawyers for Beunka Adams are appealing now to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Thursday’s execution after the previously issued stay was lifted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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One Response to Beunka Adams’ Stay of Execution Lifted by Appeals Court

  1. Thank you so much for being there in Texas to carry on
    the struggle for justice and a more humane criminal
    justice system for victims and offenders alike! In the
    Beunka Adams case, two injustices especially strike

    The first is that judging even by the rather flexible
    standard of “meaningful appellate review” articulated
    by Justice Stevens in his concurrence in _Harris v.
    Pulley_, no state (or federal) appellate court has
    reviewed the appropriateness of the death sentence for
    Beunka Adams on an individualized basis given the
    totality of the aggravating and mitigating factors,
    including his age (19) at the time of the crime and
    drug use. While we well know that such review in many
    states, including my own California, is often “rubber
    stamp,” it’s indeed egregiously striking that the
    Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Fifth Circuit
    has taken a position that it’s not even necessary to
    go through the motions, so to speak!

    The second is the ordeal of the surviving victims
    Nikki Ansley and Candace Driver, as well as the family
    of murder victim Kenneth Vandever. Suppose Texas had
    replaced the death penalty with a sentence of life
    without parole for capital murder, and both Adams and
    his codefendant Richard Cobb had been sentenced to
    LWOP in 2004. While victims have emphasized that
    there’s no closure in this world after such crimes,
    there would have been at least a “case closed.”
    Victims indeed disagree about the death penalty as
    much as others, and Ansley deserves our deepest
    empathy and compassion regardless of our differences
    on this issue. But replacing the death penalty with
    life without parole including a requirement of labor
    and restitution to a victims’ services fund would
    place the focus where it belongs: on victims, healing,
    and community.

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