UPCOMING EXECUTIONS: Texas Defendant Asks Pardons Board to Look Beyond Single Crime

Anthony Haynes is seeking clemency from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Haynes was only 19 when he killed an off-duty police officer who stopped his car in Houston. He had no prior criminal record. His defense lawyers failed to present mitigating evidence that was available at the time of his trial. More than three dozen people have signed statements saying they would have been willing to testify that Haynes’ crime was extremely out of character and that he was known for being a respectful and non-violent teenager. The jury also never heard about Haynes’ history of mental health problems. Among those who have requested clemency is his father, a retired Assistant Chief Investigator with the Houston Fire Department. He said, “The execution of my son by the State of Texas will have a devastating effect on my whole life….Since Anthony is my only child, one of my main purposes for living will be taken away from me by his execution. I am asking you to spare my son’s life, because I know the decisions he made as a teenager are not the decisions he has made as a man. My son is a changed person who has a heart of remorse for taking Sgt. Kincaid’s life.” Haynes is scheduled for execution on October 18.

(“USA: Clemency urged for Texas man facing execution for crime as teenager,” Amnesty International, October 4, 2012). See Clemency. Listen to DPIC’s podcast on Clemency.