Friday, November 19, 2004

The Texas smack-down continues

The state of Texas was scheduled to execute Troy Kunkle Thursday just after 6 p.m. central standard time. That would be 7 p.m. my time here in the east, about the time ABC's World News Tonight wraps up.

But it was not to be.

At 6:40 p.m., 40 minutes after the execution could have begun, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 for a stay. Why? No one can say for sure, because of the way the Court operates.

However, Kunkle's lawyers had argued that the execution should be stopped in light of Monday's Supreme Court ruling that some capital murder defendants in Texas were not given enough of an opportunity to have jurors consider mitigating evidence.

The 5-4 vote is pretty significant. It means that we got Kennedy or O'Connor to join Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer and Stevens. I think it also could mean that the rate of executions in Texas may decline next year -- despite the fact that the state already has three executions scheduled for January alone.

1 comment:

CarrieJ said...

YEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAAW! Way to go USSC! I'm gonna have to get this up on TLA. Excellent news indeed.