Friday, July 19, 2024
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Home » Texas Prepares for Inmate’s Execution in Hopes That Supreme Court Allows It to Happen

Texas Prepares for Inmate’s Execution in Hopes That Supreme Court Allows It to Happen

by Zack Ball
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Texas moved ahead with preparations to execute a condemned inmate on Tuesday in the hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court would lift a lower court’s stay and allow the lethal injection to proceed.

Jedidiah Murphy, 48, was sentenced to death for the October 2000 killing of 80-year-old Bertie Lee Cunningham during a carjacking.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a federal judge’s order from last week delaying the execution after Murphy’s lawyers questioned the evidence used to sentence him to death.

But the state attorney general’s office filed an appeal hours later asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the stay and allow the execution to proceed at the state penitentiary in Huntsville.

Normal procedures for the day of an execution were still being followed on Tuesday with Murphy, including final visits, said Amanda Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Murphy admits that he killed Cunningham, who was from the Dallas suburb of Garland. But he denies that he committed two robberies and a kidnapping that prosecutors used to persuade jurors during the penalty phase of his trial that he would pose a future danger — a legal finding needed to secure a death sentence in Texas.

A federal judge in Austin issued a stay last week after Murphy’s lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking DNA testing of evidence presented at his 2001 trial. They argue the crimes were the strongest evidence prosecutors had to show Murphy would pose an ongoing threat, but that the evidence linking him to the crimes is problematic, including a questionable identification of Murphy by one of the victims.

Source: NCB 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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