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Supreme Court Halts Texas Execution over religious rights

grumpy356

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I don't get Texas's fight here. Let whatever spiritual advisor he wants in, inject him, and move on. WHY FIGHT IT?


What a waste of resources.


(the 4 month delay due to the Pandemic is a whole other topic)

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/sup...-death-chamber

HOUSTON – The U.S. Supreme Court granted a reprieve Tuesday to a Texas inmate scheduled to die for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than two decades ago, continuing a more than four-month delay of executions in the nation's busiest death penalty state during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked Ruben Gutierrez's execution about an hour before he could have been executed. Gutierrez's attorneys had argued his religious rights are being violated because the prison system won't allow a chaplain to accompany him in the death chamber.

The Texas prison system last year banned clergy from the death chamber following a Supreme Court ruling that halted the execution of another inmate, Patrick Murphy, who had requested a Buddhist adviser be allowed in the chamber. In response to the ruling in Murphy's case, the Texas prison system changed its policy to no longer allow clergy in the death chamber and that only prison security staff would be allowed into the execution chamber.
AP20167681641465.jpg

The Supreme Court blocked the exection of Ruben Gutierrez, seen here, over concerns for religious rights. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

"Through hundreds of previous executions, the state of Texas has recognized that people being executed have the right to be in the presence of religious advisers when they face the end of their lives," said Shawn Nolan, one of Mr. Gutierrez's attorneys. "Mr. Gutierrez has that same right."

The Supreme Court said it granted the stay pending a ruling by the high court on Gutierrez's petition on the issue of whether to allow a spiritual adviser to accompany him in the death chamber. A decision on the petition was expected at a later date.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez, 43 was attempting to steal more than $600,000 that Escolastica Harrison had hidden in her home in Brownsville, located in Texas' southern tip, when he killed her in 1998.


If Gutierrez's execution is carried out, he would be the first inmate in Texas to receive a lethal injection since Feb. 6 and the second U.S. inmate to be put to death since the country began to reopen after the pandemic shut down much of the U.S. After the country began to reopen, Missouri resumed executions in the U.S. on May 19.

Six executions scheduled in Texas for earlier this year were postponed by an appeals court or judges because of the outbreak. A seventh was delayed over claims of intellectual disability. Gutierrez's attorneys had also sought a coronavirus-related delay but were turned down Friday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has filed a brief with the high court in support of Gutierrez.

"To deny a prisoner facing imminent execution access to spiritual and religious guidance and accompaniment is cruel and inhuman," said Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville.

Gutierrez has long maintained he didn't kill Harrison. His attorneys say there's no physical or forensic evidence connecting him to the killing. Two others were also charged in the case.

Authorities said Gutierrez befriended Harrison, a mobile home park manager and retired teacher, so he could rob her. Prosecutors said Harrison had a mistrust of banks and hid her money underneath a false floor in her bedroom closet.

Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz has called Gutierrez's appeals "delay tactics." Prosecutors have said the request for DNA testing is a "ruse" and Gutierrez was convicted on various pieces of evidence, including a confession.

"It is time for justice to be served for Mrs. Harrison," Saenz said.

Gutierrez would be the third inmate put to death this year in Texas and the seventh in the United States.
 

bigun

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SOB should have been taken from the court house to an open grave recieved a bullet in the back of the head and dumped1
 

grumpy356

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SOB should have been taken from the court house to an open grave recieved a bullet in the back of the head and dumped1

Sure, but that ain’t happening, so give him a spiritual advisor, shoot him up, and call somone to drag off the corpse.
 

Provience

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That's what I gathered, but come on, that just sounds lazy to me.

legal move to force a stay, apparently it worked.

texas can bring it back with a clause "we will provide with you from our stock and local community, if that is unable to accommodate, you will be allowed to provide your own. failing the above, you will have the option of none or nondenominational counselor" then just have the local jail chaplain wear plain clothes and show up
 

arse_sidewards

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At this point it's probably cheaper to just let those people rot in prison than to execute them with all the appeals they get and whatnot.
 

ApeEater

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With the proliferation of convictions being overturned by DNA evidence or discovery of government corruption, I have an issue with capital punishment. It's permanent, and the state has screwed it up too many times.
 

clodhopper

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With the proliferation of convictions being overturned by DNA evidence or discovery of government corruption, I have an issue with capital punishment. It's permanent, and the state has screwed it up too many times.

I am not sure there is much of a price difference on a capital punishment vs. inmate found innocent after 20 years in prison. Tax payers will be picking up on both situations.
 

det107

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Why didn't anyone volunteer? How hard is it to get a priest garb or Klan robe??

'Sup!!! Howsa hanging?!?!

:gives sign of cross:

The Lord is my shepherd....

...I shall not want.

He maketh me lie down in green pastures... AMEN-
 

grumpy356

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With the proliferation of convictions being overturned by DNA evidence or discovery of government corruption, I have an issue with capital punishment. It's permanent, and the state has screwed it up too many times.

I agree some shitty things happened in the past, and death row inmates should have a right to DNA testing regardless of appeals when death penalty has been sentenced. I would go so far if an individual officers or district attorneys were found fabricating evidence, or purposely withholding evidence to get the fraudulent conviction, he should trade places with the wrongly accused.

BUT how many have we lost in Friendly Fire incidences in war and law enforcement encounters?
We don't disband our military, or police departments.

I don't discount the fact tat people have been wrongly executed, but I do (maybe niavley) believe it is an extremely rare event.
 

evernoob

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I am not sure there is much of a price difference on a capital punishment vs. inmate found innocent after 20 years in prison. Tax payers will be picking up on both situations.

This is the most advanced nation on Earth with a $24 Trillion economy. We should literally be spending huge amounts of cash deciding the most important decision that can possibly be made by a society: the issue of a human being's life or death.

We can also spend a great deal of effort and money and the 2nd most important internal social decision: the issue of a human being's freedom or incarceration.

As of October 2015, we have executed over 1,414 individuals in this country since 1976.[SUP]2[/SUP] 156 individuals have been exonerated from death row--that is, found to be innocent and released - since 1973. [SUP]3[/SUP] In other words, for every 10 people who have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S., one person has been set free.

1 out of 10 Death Row prisoners are completely innocent. Those are MISERABLE odds. The Death Penalty should be abolished immediately from a Federal Level.

Trump did not immediately issue an EO upon inauguration banning Sanctuary Cities.

Obama did not immediately issue an EO upon inauguration banning the Death Penalty.

Both would immediately end up a huge political and Constitutional Crisis, and they should have. Both are absolutely critical issues and both are proof that our Parties don't give a fuck about us or the nation.

DP needs to be ended yesterday. That's ok, though, Texas is going Blue very soon, and they'll end it then.
 

FJC11

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This is the most advanced nation on Earth with a $24 Trillion economy. We should literally be spending huge amounts of cash deciding the most important decision that can possibly be made by a society: the issue of a human being's life or death.

We can also spend a great deal of effort and money and the 2nd most important internal social decision: the issue of a human being's freedom or incarceration.



1 out of 10 Death Row prisoners are completely innocent. Those are MISERABLE odds. The Death Penalty should be abolished immediately from a Federal Level.

Trump did not immediately issue an EO upon inauguration banning Sanctuary Cities.

Obama did not immediately issue an EO upon inauguration banning the Death Penalty.

Both would immediately end up a huge political and Constitutional Crisis, and they should have. Both are absolutely critical issues and both are proof that our Parties don't give a fuck about us or the nation.

DP needs to be ended yesterday. That's ok, though, Texas is going Blue very soon, and they'll end it then.

I always found it somewhat odd that the left love killing babies ( abortion ) but are against the death penalty , maybe if we rebrand it as " late term abortion ". :rolleyes:
 

CrustyJeep

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With the proliferation of convictions being overturned by DNA evidence or discovery of government corruption, I have an issue with capital punishment. It's permanent, and the state has screwed it up too many times.
Agreed. Executing a criminal serves no real purpose other than a deterrent, which I don't think it really does anyway. It's too permanent and the system is too fragile. We should stop doing it.
 

grumpy356

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Agreed. Executing a criminal serves no real purpose other than a deterrent, which I don't think it really does anyway. It's too permanent and the system is too fragile. We should stop doing it.

It’s not a deterrent. I doubt you could find a single criminal ever thought that far ahead. Hell, most don’t plan on getting caught at all.

what it does provide is vengeance. And there is some justice to that
 
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CrustyJeep

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It’s not a deterrent. I doubt you could find a single criminal ever thought that far ahead. Hell, most don’t plan on getting caught at all.
That's my thinking too. Not that I'm stupid enough to go around committing capital crimes, but if I did and got convicted, you can bet your ass I'd be begging to be put down. Fuck rotting in prison for the rest of my life. Shoot me. Light me on fire, I don't care, just don't put me in a cell.

what it does provide vengeance. And there is some justice to that
Meh. The justice system isn't supposed to be about vengeance. And if it was, a quick painless death ain't how you do it. Letting the victim's friends and family skin the fucker alive is how you do it. The death penalty is just life in prison plus "yeah, we're really really sure". Except we're never "really really sure", so...
 

evernoob

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It’s not a deterrent. I doubt you could find a single criminal ever thought that far ahead. Hell, most don’t plan on getting caught at all.

what it does provide vengeance. And there is some justice to that

The cops are right about it being a negotiating tool, though.

Doesn't matter though. It's permanent and can't be reversed.
 

Will12785

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I agree some shitty things happened in the past, and death row inmates should have a right to DNA testing regardless of appeals when death penalty has been sentenced. I would go so far if an individual officers or district attorneys were found fabricating evidence, or purposely withholding evidence to get the fraudulent conviction, he should trade places with the wrongly accused.

BUT how many have we lost in Friendly Fire incidences in war and law enforcement encounters?
We don't disband our military, or police departments. people are rioting in the streets right now for this very thing

I don't discount the fact tat people have been wrongly executed, but I do (maybe niavley) believe it is an extremely rare event.

"It better 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent man be imprisoned."

- Lord William Blakeney
 

TRINDU

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With the proliferation of convictions being overturned by DNA evidence or discovery of government corruption, I have an issue with capital punishment. It's permanent, and the state has screwed it up too many times.

Is there a case where capital punishment was overturned by DNA?
 

grumpy356

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"It better 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent man be imprisoned."

- Lord William Blakeney

Is it? Or do we put too much value on the human life?

i go back & forth.

The world is a evil, cruel place, in nature & in society.
 

Will12785

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Is it? Or do we put too much value on the human life?

i go back & forth.

The world is a evil, cruel place, in nature & in society.

I think it is. I agree we put too much value on human life, but I don't think that's where we need to save a buck.
 
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