Yesterday, the State of Texas carried out its first execution in six months, putting Barney Fuller to death for the 2003 murders of his neighbors, Nathan and Annette Copeland, in Houston County. Fuller pled guilty to the crime and has waived further appeals in his case, ordering his attorneys not to file any additional legal challenges. In June, a federal judge deemed him competent to drop his appeals. Fuller is 58 years old.
According to the Texas Tribune, Fuller’s execution will mark the first time Houston County (about 100 miles north of Houston) has put someone to death since the penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976.
According to Rob Dunham with the Death Penalty Information Center, 143 people have been executed in the United States after giving up their appeals. This represents just under 10% of U.S. executions since 1977. In Texas, 29 people have been executed after forfeiting their appeals. This includes Daniel Lopez, who was put to death in August 2015 at the age of 27 after spending 5 1/2 years on death row.
The State of Texas has put six people to death in 2016. Eight individuals have received stays.
From the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; more here.