Texas’s Court of Criminal Appeals issued rulings on Monday that rejected challenges from five death row inmates to lethal injections there, which also rely on the three-chemical cocktail. Karl Chamberlain, who raped and murdered a 30-year-old woman in 1991, is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday.
The last execution before the de facto moratorium happened in Texas, and it was the subject of controversy. The presiding judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge Sharon Keller, closed the courthouse at its regular time of 5 p.m. and turned back an attempt from a death row inmate to file appeal papers a few minutes later. The inmate, Michael Richard, was executed that evening.
Opponents of the death penalty in Texas said they had hoped the criticism that followed that episode would inform the court’s decisions on the recent lethal injection challenges.
“Those of us who thought the court was taking a thoughtful and rigorous look at this were wrong,” said David R. Dow of the Texas Defender Service. “I don’t think the court has shown the interest in really developing a coherent body of law, but instead reacts from one decision to the next like a pinball.”
Mr. Chamberlain, scheduled to die on Wednesday, would be the 406th prisoner to be executed in Texas since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
“Texas is still Texas,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty. “They are the ones with the most dates coming up, and by the year’s end, I’m quite confident they will lead the country in executions.”
CONTACT GOVERNOR PERRY:
In Austin or from out of state: (512) 463-1782
Calling from Texas: (800) 252-9600
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Karl Chamberlain June 11
TDCJ Info on Karl Chamberlain
Huntsville - Corner of 12th Street and Avenue I (in front of the Walls Unit) at 5:00 p.m.
Austin - At the Governor's Mansion on the Lavaca St. side between 10th and 11th St. from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.
Beaumont - Diocese of Beaumont, Diocesan Pastoral Office, 703 Archie St. @ 4:00 p.m. on the day of an execution.
College Station - 6 to 7 PM on execution days, corner of Texas Avenue and University Drive.
Corpus Christi - at 6 PM in front of Incarnate Word Convent at 2910 Alameda Street
Dallas - 5:30 pm, at the SMU Women's Center, 3116 Fondren Drive
Houston - For June 11th execution there will be a demonstration at the Mecom Fountains from 5:00 until 6:30. The fountains are at the entrance to Herman Park where Main Street, Montrose Blvd and Fannin Street all intersect at a traffic circle just south of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. To learn if a stay has been granted before you come out, call Burnham Terrell, 713/921-0948.
Lewisville - St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 1897 W. Main Street. Peace & Justice Ministry conducts Vigils of Witness Against Capital Punishment at 6:00 pm on the day executions are scheduled in Texas.
McKinney - St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Community located at 110 St. Gabriel Way. We gather the last Saturday of the month between 6:00 to 6:30 to pray for those men/women scheduled to be executed in the next month and to remember the victims, their families, and all lives touched, including us as a society.
San Antonio (Site 1) - Archdiocese of San Antonio, in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Chancery, 2718 W. Woodlawn Ave. (1 mile east of Bandera Rd.) at 11:30 a.m. on the day of execution. Broadcast on Catholic Television of San Antonio (Time-Warner cable channel 15) at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the day of execution.
San Antonio (Site 2) - Main Plaza across from Bexar County Courthouse and San Fernando Cathedral - Noon
Spring - Prayer Vigil at 6 PM on evenings of executions at St Edward Catholic Community, 2601 Spring Stuebner Rd for the murder victim, for family and friends of the murder victim, the prison guards and correctional officers, for the family of the condemn man/woman, for the man/woman to be executed and to an end to the death penalty.