- On April 11, 2019, Mark Robertson, 50, is scheduled to be executed for the 1989 murder of Edna Brau in Dallas County. In his 1991 trial, he also received two life sentences for the murder of Sean Hill, Brau’s grandson, and Jeffrey Saunders, a convenience store clerk. His appellate attorneys have argued that the jury never heard mitigating evidence about his past because of his trial attorneys’ failure to properly investigate. Additionally, they claim that a Texas prison warden gave false testimony about Robertson’s potential security classification in prison if he received life without parole.
- On April 24, 2019, John William King, 44, is scheduled to be executed for his role in the racially-motivated dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. in 1998. King, along with two other men, Shawn Berry and Lawrence Russell Brewer, were convicted of chaining Byrd by his ankles to the bumper of a pickup truck and fatally dragging him three miles on the outskirts of Jasper in East Texas. Berry is currently serving a life sentence; Brewer was executed in 2011. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in response to Byrd’s murder.
Update on Patrick Murphy
On March 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed Patrick Murphy’s execution based on his complaint of religious discrimination. The stay came more than two hours after the execution was set to take place. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice had denied Murphy’s request to have a Buddhist priest instead of a Christian chaplain in the execution chamber. In concurring in the grant of application for a stay, Justice Kavanaugh wrote that such governmental discrimination against religion violates the Constitution.
Texas is responsible for two of the three executions nationwide thus far in 2019. Two executions have been stayed. A total of five executions currently are scheduled to take place in Texas through September.
Read more at https://tcadp.org/