Victim's Family and Jurors Urge Clemency for Texas Death Row Inmate

On February 7, attorneys for Tim Adams (pictured) filed a petition for clemency urging the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend sparing Adams' life and to ask Governor Rick Perry to commute his death sentence to life in prison without parole. Adams, an army veteran with no criminal history, killed his son while planning his own suicide in 2002. He pleaded guilty and has taken responsibility for his actions.  Family members and three jurors from Adams' trial have also voiced strong support for his clemency. Columbus Adams, Adams' father and grandfather of the victim, said, "Our family lost one child. We don’t deserve to lose another. After my grandson’s death, we lived through pain worse than anyone could imagine. Nothing good will come from executing my son Tim and causing us more anguish." Additionally, Rebecca Hayes, Ngoc Duong, and Kathryn Starling, who served as jurors in Adams' trial, have said they were not presented with information about the defendant's character and religious background that would have influenced their sentencing decision. In an affidavit, Hayes said, "Those deliberations were the most emotional experience of my life, and I have carried the guilt around for years knowing that I sentenced Adams, a man who had done wrong but who was otherwise a good, religious, and hard-working person to death."


UPDATE: The Texas District Court judge that set Charles Hood's execution date has withdrawn the warrant for execution and recused himself from the case, thereby likely delaying the execution indefinitely. Hood's attorneys filed a motion for discovery of information about the affair between the judge and prosecutor at Hood's trial. (Dallas Morning News, June 17, 2008). Hood was granted a 30-day reprieve by the governor.

United Methodists Call for Abolition of the Death Penalty in Texas

May 5, 2008


The Worldwide United Methodist Church sent a message to Texas during the General Conference held in Ft. Worth, TX. The General Conference passed a resolution calling for the specific abolition of the death penalty in Texas. The United Methodist Church has had a position against the use of the death penalty for more than 50 years and reaffirmed that specific position in separate resolutions for the whole church as well.

Death and the Chaplain

By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current
April 30, 2008

Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Rulings Address Texas Death Penalty Problems
In recent years, a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings have identified and addressed serious problems within the Texas death penalty system. The following are among the key decisions issued by the Court:

2007- Panetti v. Quarterman (No. 06-6407)
The Supreme Court (5-4) blocked the execution of Scott Panetti, ruling that the federal court's standard for mental incompetence was too restrictive and that the Texas courts had not given him an adequate hearing. Panetti suffers from schizophrenia and insisted that he was to be executed for preaching the gospel. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy wrote, "Gross delusions stemming from a severe mental disorder may put an awareness of a link between a crime and its punishment in a context so far removed from reality that the punishment can serve no proper purpose. It is therefore error to derive. . . a strict test for competency that treats delusional beliefs as irrelevant once the prisoner is aware the State has identified the link between his crime and the punishment to be inflicted."

Upcoming Texas Execution Raises Questions of Appropriate Sentence

UPDATE: Henderson's execution date of April 18 was stayed in order to consider new defense motions in the case. A new execution date of June 13 was tentatively set.
Upcoming Texas Execution Raises Questions of Appropriate Sentence
Cathy Henderson (pictured with Sr. Helen Prejean) is scheduled to be executed in Texas on April 18 for the 1994 murder of Brandon Baugh, an infant she was babysitting. Henderson would be the 12th woman put to death in the U.S. since capital punishment was reinstated. (See DPIC's updated page on Women and the Death Penalty). Since her arrest, Henderson has maintained that the child's death was accidental. Henderson said that she is sorry for Brandon's death and that she feels regret every day for the pain she caused his family. Watch an interview of Henderson with the Kansas City Star (Windows Media Player).

Articles - Texas

Legislative Activity - Texas

  • Victims' Advocates, Prosecutors Caution Against Expansion of Texas Death Penalty Victims' advocates and prosecutors are urging Texas legislators to exclude the death penalty from new legislation designed to toughen penalties for repeat child molesters. Those opposed to the measure fear that threatening death sentences for sex offenders could lead to fewer reported cases of sex crimes and might even give incentive to offenders to kill their victims to prevent the child from testifying in court.