Death penalty | Texas Public Radio

Death penalty

With just hours left before it was scheduled, the execution of Richard Glossip was halted by an Oklahoma court on Wednesday.

Glossip's case, if you remember, became national news because he took a challenge over the legality of a new drug cocktail used for executions all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Death row inmate Bernardo Tecero is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, making him 11th person to be put to death in the state this year.

Tecero, a Nicaraguan national, is condemned for murder of a school teacher during an armed robbery of a Houston dry cleaning establishment in 1997. A Texas jury convicted him in 2000.

There is no dispute Tecero is the killer. At issue, however, is whether or not he should be executed.

Courtesty of The Criterion Collection.

In a 2005 essay for NPR’s “This I Believe” series, filmmaker Errol Morris laid out the personal philosophy behind his documentary filmmaking: “Truth is not relative, it's not subjective. It may be elusive or hidden, people may wish to disregard it, but there is such a thing as truth.” Documentaries, by their nature, are created not through an illusory omnipresent eye, but by a person, and from the perspective of that person.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Lawmakers in Nebraska overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of their vote to repeal the death penalty, making it the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973. The vote was 30-19.

Lokal_Profil / cc

AUSTIN — The identity of Texas’ lethal drug supplier would remain confidential under a measure the state House approved Monday — bringing it to the cusp of clearing the Legislature, despite advocates’ calls to lift the secrecy surrounding the drugs used for executions in the nation's busiest death chamber.

The bill would prohibit disclosure to the public and even to death row inmates and their attorneys. It sailed through the Texas Senate last week, then passed the lower chamber via a simple voice vote and without debate.

That means the proposal is just a legislative logistical step away from the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it into law. An ongoing legal challenge already prohibits Texas from disclosing where the state buys execution drugs. That ruling came after manufacturers reported being threatened by death penalty opponents.

Lethal injection was the grim subject before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. Specifically at issue: whether the drug combinations currently used to execute convicted murderers in some states are unconstitutionally cruel.

The issue comes to the court after three botched executions over the past year.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in three death penalty cases testing which drug combinations constitute cruel and unusual punishment when used to execute a convicted murderer by lethal injection.

It is the second time in seven years that the justices have looked at the lethal injection question, and it comes after three botched executions over the past year.

Courtesy Texas Department of Criminal Justice

HOUSTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the appeal of a Salvadoran man on Texas death row for the slayings of two store clerks in Houston 15 years ago. The high court offered no explanation for its decision Monday in the case of 45-year-old Gilmar Guevara.

Lower courts have rejected claims Guevara’s legal help at his Harris County trial in 2001 was deficient and that his mental impairment made him ineligible for the death penalty.

Guevara was condemned for fatally shooting 48-year-old Tae Youk and 21-year-old Gerardo Yaxon during an attempted robbery in 2000.

Youk was from South Korea.

Yaxon was from Guatemala.

No money was taken from their store.

The death penalty is legal in more than 30 states, but the long-controversial practice has come under renewed scrutiny after a series of botched executions in several states last year.

Opponents of capital punishment argue that the death penalty undermines the fair administration of justice, as wealth, geography, race and quality of legal representation all come into play, with uneven results.

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