Is Texas Death Penalty Unconstitutional?

That’s the question that District Judge Kevin Fine in Houston will be deciding in the next couple of weeks.  A hearing in the case of Texas v. Green, starting Monday, Dec. 6, will put the Lone Star State’s capital punishment system on trial, and by all accounts it will be a wide-ranging affair.  Evidence of the sentencing and execution of innocent men, the use of bogus science, and other egregious mistakes and examples of general incompetence will be considered to determine if the death penalty, as currently administered in Texas, is too prone to error to be allowed to continue.  (Green’s challenge to the Texas death penalty is here.)

The constitutionality of the death penalty in principle is NOT under consideration, just the way it is practiced.  The cases of Claude Jones, Cameron Todd Willingham, and Ernest Ray Willis will among the primary examples of how deeply flawed the practice of Texas capital punishment has become.  Well-intentioned reform efforts from, for example, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, have been smothered by political pressure, so maybe the courts can be the avenue for serious investigations into the major malfunctions of the Texas death penalty.

The state’s judicial system, with judges elected all the way up to and including the highest court, has not been known for courageous critical examinations of Texas justice, but evidence of wrongful convictions, wrongful death sentences, and wrongful executions may have – at last – become impossible to ignore or sweep under the rug.

Whatever the outcome of this hearing, it will be a welcome ray of sunlight on the dismally dysfunctional Texas death penalty.

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8 thoughts on “Is Texas Death Penalty Unconstitutional?

  1. I feel so sad that here in Connecticut Steven Hayes was condemned to death yesterday, but at least he apologized for all the pain and suffering he had caused to the Petit family, and unless Hayes waives his appeals and wants to be executed,… his execution date of May 27, 2011, seems impossible, as he may spend the rest of his life in prison anyway. But we still have to push on for the abolition of the death penalty, no matter the cost. :( http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/02/steven-hayes

  2. no words, just a cold feeling. Whom can still stand against life. thanks to you all to keep fighting. As an ant in a antsnest i bring my twig to the comunity by sharing this kind of information. If it is not the best, it's the least I can do. More people will bring these situations to their mind, the better it'll be. Love to you all and god bless. Maryjon – switzerland

  3. I feel so sad that here in Connecticut Steven Hayes was condemned to death yesterday, but at least he apologized for all the pain and suffering he had caused to the Petit family, and unless Hayes waives his appeals and wants to be executed,… his execution date of May 27, 2011, seems impossible, as he may spend the rest of his life in prison anyway. But we still have to push on for the abolition of the death penalty, no matter the cost. :( http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/02/steven-hayes

  4. I feel so sad that here in Connecticut Steven Hayes was condemned to death yesterday, but at least he apologized for all the pain and suffering he had caused to the Petit family, and unless Hayes waives his appeals and wants to be executed,… his execution date of May 27, 2011, seems impossible, as he may spend the rest of his life in prison anyway. But we still have to push on for the abolition of the death penalty, no matter the cost. :( http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/02/steven-hayes

  5. no words, just a cold feeling. Whom can still stand against life. thanks to you all to keep fighting. As an ant in a antsnest i bring my twig to the comunity by sharing this kind of information. If it is not the best, it’s the least I can do. More people will bring these situations to their mind, the better it’ll be. Love to you all and god bless. Maryjon – switzerland

  6. I feel so sad that here in Connecticut Steven Hayes was condemned to death yesterday, but at least he apologized for all the pain and suffering he had caused to the Petit family, and unless Hayes waives his appeals and wants to be executed,… his execution date of May 27, 2011, seems impossible, as he may spend the rest of his life in prison anyway. But we still have to push on for the abolition of the death penalty, no matter the cost. :( http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/02/steven-hayes-formally-sentenced-death-connecticut-family-murder/

  7. I believe the Americans and people that live in America, are not scared to be go to prison, why would anyone. They have food, shelter and best of all medical care (better medical care than most people living here). I am for the death penitlty, and better yet..I would love to see Public Execution on TV. USA and the states that make up them are too conservative when it comes to executions. Yes that is what I said.. Didnt God say an eye for an eye.. Let me break it down, you can take break it down case by case.
    There are many…
    A guy goes into the grocery store shots and kills the worker behind the register, takes the money..He is on Video, with impecable proof he is the one who did it.. Couple weeks later, he is caught..He says it wansnt him. Everyone is intitled to a fair trial, And The Court finds him guilty..He is found guilty, even though he has wasted time in the court system, and now he is going to be living it up in prison..a Life sentence..While in prison, he has Cable TV, food, cloths, work out room, books, yard, can go back to school (get a GED if he wants to) dont understand why if hes in there for life, medical, dentists, and other health care if he needs it.. For Christ Sake, why dont you put a pool in for them… Give me a ^@%#@'en break… Prison is not suppose to be easy.. ALL rights and Privlegdes are suppose to be revoked, prisons are getting crowded and congress and the states dont have any BALLS.. If someone commits a robbery and has done it before, do you really think you can reform that person… But if you find out that someone has commited a crime and was sentenced to death.. Would you think twice about doing the crime, or would you just be thinking..I woudnt get caught.. HUM.. So you did the crime and now you get caught, now your in prison..You say..No Big Deal..I think they just installed a New Pool… Weak foolish people, get some balls, before this country we call home, gets so bad one cant walk out of the house…

  8. I believe the Americans and people that live in America, are not scared to be go to prison, why would anyone. They have food, shelter and best of all medical care (better medical care than most people living here). I am for the death penitlty, and better yet..I would love to see Public Execution on TV. USA and the states that make up them are too conservative when it comes to executions. Yes that is what I said.. Didnt God say an eye for an eye.. Let me break it down, you can take break it down case by case.
    There are many…
    A guy goes into the grocery store shots and kills the worker behind the register, takes the money..He is on Video, with impecable proof he is the one who did it.. Couple weeks later, he is caught..He says it wansnt him. Everyone is intitled to a fair trial, And The Court finds him guilty..He is found guilty, even though he has wasted time in the court system, and now he is going to be living it up in prison..a Life sentence..While in prison, he has Cable TV, food, cloths, work out room, books, yard, can go back to school (get a GED if he wants to) dont understand why if hes in there for life, medical, dentists, and other health care if he needs it.. For Christ Sake, why dont you put a pool in for them… Give me a ^@%#@’en break… Prison is not suppose to be easy.. ALL rights and Privlegdes are suppose to be revoked, prisons are getting crowded and congress and the states dont have any BALLS.. If someone commits a robbery and has done it before, do you really think you can reform that person… But if you find out that someone has commited a crime and was sentenced to death.. Would you think twice about doing the crime, or would you just be thinking..I woudnt get caught.. HUM.. So you did the crime and now you get caught, now your in prison..You say..No Big Deal..I think they just installed a New Pool… Weak foolish people, get some balls, before this country we call home, gets so bad one cant walk out of the house…