Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Texas Board of Pardons and Parole Recommends Delay in Woman's Execution; Governor Agrees: UPDATED--EXECUTED
Frances Newton, found guilty of murdering her husband and two children in 1987, was scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. on December 1 in Houston, Texas. On November 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied her appeal, but the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole recommended in a 5 to 1 decision to delay the execution for 120 days to review ballistics evidence. The evidence has been handled by the Houston police crime laboratory, the same lab that misplaced and recently discovered 280 boxes of evidence involving 8000 cases, although Newton's case is not one of these 8000.
According to David R. Dow, a CrimProf at the University of Houston who runs the Texas Innocence Network, a clinic representing inmates contending wrongful convictions, "There are strong independent reasons for believing that she is actually innocent." More... [Mark Godsey]
UPDATE: Texas Governor Rick Perry agreed with the Parole Board and granted the stay to examine evidence of possible innocence. More...