Upcoming Executions
Click for a list of upcoming scheduled executions in Texas.
Innocence
The death penalty puts innocent people at risk of execution.
Todd Willingham
Todd Willingham was wrongfully executed under Governor Rick Perry on February 17, 2004.

Below is a criminal complaint filed by Rick Reed against Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. He alleges that Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg threatened correctional officers at the county jail in a way that amounts to third-degree felony obstruction or retaliation on the night she was arrested for drunk driving.

The American-Statesman has an article today entitled “Texas prison suicide rate high among inmates in isolation“. Everyone on Texas death row is held in solitary confinement. The term for solitary confinement is “administrative segregation”.

Between 2007 and 2012, the 8,000 to 9,000 state prisoners housed in administrative segregation made up between 5 and 6 percent of the total prison system census. Yet in a given year, the analysis shows, their suicides have accounted for as high as 40 percent of the self-inflicted deaths. Some years, the rate of suicide among administrative segregation inmates is more than 10 times that of the general prison population.

The deaths also add to the debate over confining mentally ill inmates for long periods in relative isolation. About a quarter of Texas inmates held in administrative segregation have a diagnosis of mental illness or mental retardation.

Below are the names of the 12 people on Texas death row who have committed suicide in the modern era. This list does not include attempted suicides, which would of course be a much higher number. It also does not include cases of self-mutilation that may not have been classified as suicide attempts, such as the case of Andre Thomas, who in 2009 used his bare hands to pull his one remaining eye out and ate it.

Suicides on Texas Death Row

John Devries committed suicide on July 1, 1974 by hanging himself with bed sheets. In 1973, revision to the Texas Penal Code had once again allowed assessment of the death penalty after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled it unconstitutional nationwide in 1972. Under the new statute, the first man (#507 John Devries) was placed on death row on February 15, 1974.

Kenneth Palafox, December 17, 1980

Stephen Mattox, June 26, 1983

Joseph Turner, July 5, 1986

James Gunter August 24, 1997

Deon Tumblin hanged himself in his cell on November 2, 2004.

Christopher Britton hanged himself in his death row cell on February 4, 2005.

Michael Johnson committed suicide by cutting his neck and arm on October 19, 2005, 15 hours before his scheduled execution. He wrote on the wall in blood “I didn’t do it”.

Jesus Flores bled to death after he cut his throat with a razor in his death row cell in Livington’s Polunksy Unit on January 29, 2008. He tried to scrawl a note with his blood on the cell wall. “It appeared he had tried to write something on the wall but it appeared largely illegible, said Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

William Robinson, 49, a psychologically troubled inmate, hanged himself with a bed sheet in his Jester 4 Unit cell on Feb 1, 2008.

Ronnie Neal, 39, committed suicide inside his death row cell at the Polunsky Unit by taking pills that he had saved up, June 12, 2010.

Selwyn Davis committed suicide on July 29, 2012. He apparently had accumulated a bunch of pills of some kind and then took them all at once. This was not his first suicide attempt on death row.

Antonio Williams committed suicide February 19, 2015.

Texas Death Row Cell

Texas Death Row Cell

041913-Rosemary-Lehmberg-MUGApparently, there are more things going wrong in Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s office than just her arrest and three weeks in jail for drunk driving. She is also not supervising her Assistant DAs well enough to prevent things like this from happening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Facebook page of Remove Rosemary Lehmberg:

Louis Castro Perez is on death row for a 1999 triple murder in south Austin. He maintains his innocence, and is fighting for testing of DNA from the scene. As you know, capital murder cases go through a lengthy appeal process. The appeals in this case are ongoing.

Here are the documents in the link (I highlighted the most important parts):

1. Order Withdrawing Execution Date and Death Warrant (12/4/2012)
2. Death Warrant (11/27/2012)
3. Case Docket Chronology from Perez’s ongoing appeal

Here’s the chronology suggesting incompetence:

08/29/2012: Perez files a Motion to Vacate Judgment. (This motion stays pending until 12/18/2012, with more appeals that follow it.)

11/27/2012: A Travis County Assistant DA (unnamed) makes a representation to Judge Karen Sage (a relatively new judge) that all of Perez’s appeals have been exhausted. Judge Sage therefore issues a “Death Warrant,” setting Perez’s execution by lethal injection for March 21, 2013. (However – his appeal is still pending!)

12/04/2012: Judge Sage issues what I describe as a somewhat frantic and frustrated order (based on my experience with judges’ tone) WITHDRAWING the execution order that was issued in November, stating:

“The Court’s action was based entirely on the representation of the Assistant District Attorney in this matter that all appeals and habeas proceedings had been concluded. … Had the Court understood this motion was pending, it would not have issued the Order or Warrant.”

 

500The 500th execution in Texas is now on the schedule.  The 500th execution under the current schedule will happen on June 26, 2013 when Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled for execution. There may be stays or additions in the schedule that change the date of the 500th. Right now 497 people have been executed in Texas in the modern era.

We urge everyone in Texas and our friends worldwide to take action leading up to the 500th execution to let Texas know that it should stop executions with a moratorium and begin the process of repealing the death penalty.

Let us know if you plan any actions to protest 500 executions in Texas.

We originally posted this information on December 12, 2012, but because there have been more execution dates set, we updated the post on February 4 and again on May 9 to reflect the new date for the 500th execution.

Texas is nearing 500 executions in the modern era since the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty was constitutional. Texas conducted its first execution after the ruling in 1982.

To express your opposition to any execution, you can contact Governor Rick Perry’s office at 512 463 2000. If you call after business hours, you can leave a voice mail message. During business hours, someone should answer the phone. You can also send a message using a form on Perry’s official website.

498) Jefferey Williams, May 15, 2013

TDCJ Info on Williams

499) Elroy Chester III, June 12, 2013

TDCJ Info on Elroy Chester

500) Kimberly McCarthy, June 26, 2013

TDCJ Info on McCarthy

501) Rigoberto Avila Jr July 10, 2013

TDCJ Info on Avila

502) John Quintanilla Jr. July 16, 2103

TDCJ Info on Quintanilla

503) Vaughn Ross, July 18, 2013

TDCJ Info on Ross

504) Douglas Feldman, July 31, 2013

TDCJ Info on Feldman

505) Robert Garza, September 19, 2013

TDCJ Info on Garza

506) Arturo Diaz September 26, 2013

TDCJ Info on Diaz

Scheduled Executions in Texas

Texas is nearing 500 executions in the modern era since the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty was constitutional. Texas conducted its first execution after the ruling in 1982.

To express your opposition to any execution, you can contact Governor Rick Perry’s office at 512 463 2000. If you call after business hours, you can leave a voice mail message. During business hours, someone should answer the phone. You can also send a message using a form on Perry’s official website.

497) Carroll Parr, May 7, 2013

TDCJ Info on Parr

498) Jefferey Williams, May 15, 2013

TDCJ Info on Williams

499) Robert Pruett, May 21, 2013

TDCJ Info on Pruett

500) Elroy Chester III, June 12, 2013

TDCJ Info on Elroy Chester

501) Kimberly McCarthy, June 26, 2013

TDCJ Info on McCarthy

502) Rigoberto Avila Jr July 10, 2013

TDCJ Info on Avila

503) John Quintanilla Jr. July 16, 2103

TDCJ Info on Quintanilla

504) Vaughn Ross, July 18, 2013

TDCJ Info on Ross

505) Douglas Feldman, July 31, 2013

TDCJ Info on Feldman

506) Robert Garza, September 19, 2013

TDCJ Info on Garza

507) Arturo Diaz September 26, 2013

TDCJ Info on Diaz

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