Court stops execution after claims of racist jury selection

 

By Jolie Mccullough

The Texas Tribune

texastribune.org

In two weeks, two Texas executions have been stopped by the courts.

On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Mark Robertson, who was convicted nearly 30 years ago in the Dallas shooting deaths and robbery of an elderly woman and her grandson.

His appellate lawyers asked the Texas court to stop his death because Robertson’s original trial lawyer discriminated against potential jurors who were black, claiming they would “not be sympathetic” toward his client.

The court ruling stayed the execution of Robertson, who is white, pending further order.

Less than two weeks ago, the U.S Supreme Court halted the execution of Patrick Murphy after he claimed Texas’ policy that didn’t allow Buddhist chaplains into the execution chamber was religious discrimination. Since then, Texas has changed its policy to allow no advisers of any religion into the death chamber.

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