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Thursday, October 04, 2007

I .. can't... stop... I ... must ... set ... an ... execution ... date

In Texas, some people watch football every Sunday just because they have always done it. Same thing with the death penalty in Texas. Judges know that the execution dates are going to be stayed pending the Baze decision, but they can't stop setting execution dates. It's just habit. Forget football. Maybe this is what crack is like. Statesman article:

The courts may have called a temporary halt to executions, but the wheels of death penalty justice continue to turn in Texas.

On Wednesday, a Tyler district judge set a Nov. 6 execution date for Allen Bridgers, a high school dropout who fatally shot a Tyler woman in the throat before stealing her car in 1997.

The U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals have blocked two Texas executions in the past week. The delays were ordered while the U.S. Supreme Court reviews claims that lethal injections — a three-drug combination that sedates, paralyzes and kills — may subject inmates to intense pain but leave them unable to cry out.

"It's baffling, because it doesn't make any sense to schedule an execution date based on what the U.S. Supreme Court and Texas court have done in the last week," said Andrea Keilen, executive director of the Texas Defender Service, which represents Bridgers.

"It just creates completely unnecessary litigation" challenging Bridgers' execution, Keilen said.

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