Hearing on Texas death penalty stopped by court

Hearing on Texas death penalty stopped by court
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 11:43pm

HOUSTON (AP) - Texas' highest criminal court has stopped an
unusual court hearing on the constitutionality of the death penalty
in Texas.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday granted a request
by the Harris County District Attorney's Office to stop the

The hearing began Monday in Houston as ordered by a state
district judge who declared the Texas death penalty statute
unconstitutional after granting a motion in a capital murder case
last spring. Under heavy criticism, the judge clarified then
rescinded his ruling and ordered the hearing, saying he needed to
hear evidence on the issue.

Lawyers for the Houston man who had asked for the hearing said
they intended to show how flaws in death penalty prosecutions in
Texas create a risk that innocent people will be executed.

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