SCOTUS blocks 2nd Texas execution in a week

posted at 11:25 am on September 21, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

In what is normally a very unusual move for the Supreme Court, they have now stepped in twice to put the brakes on execution of convicted killers in the Lone Star State. This time it’s the case of Cleve Foster.

For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court intervened in the final hours to block a planned execution in Texas.

Cleve Foster, a 47-year-old former Army recruiter, was scheduled to die for the rape and murder of a woman he met at a Fort Worth bar in 2002. Foster has maintained that another man who was with him at the bar committed the crime.

The high court issued a stay of execution Tuesday and said it wanted more time to decide whether to hear Foster’s appeal.

Twice this year, the court stopped Foster’s execution because of a dispute involving the drugs to be used for the lethal injection.

One note of interest here is that the arguments being made in each of these cases don’t seem to center around whether or not the convicted men are actually guilty. The appeals are nibbling around the edges on other issues. In the previous case, that of Duane Edward Buck, the defense argued that the jury process had been tainted when the prosecutor used allegedly racially charged language when making the case for execution rather than life in prison without parole. In this latest case, prior delays were encountered, not over whether or not to execute Foster, but over which drugs to pump into his system to finish the job.

I don’t believe either of these cases would be receiving the national attention they’re currently seeing were it not for the fact that Rick Perry is running for president and, as Texas governor, is involved in the process. Combine that with his comments at the last GOP debate (and the reaction of the Tea Party audience present) and you’ve got a formula for a media feast. Reporters went out of their way to try to get a reaction from Perry when the first decision was announced, but didn’t get much to work with in return.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday that he respected the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block the execution of a Houston murderer who would be the 236th person put to death on his watch.

Perry, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and Texas judges had refused to grant requests for a reprieve from convicted murderer Duane Edward Buck.

“Whether or not he is guilty is not in question,” Perry told reporters while campaigning at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in rural western Iowa. “Clearly he was guilty of murdering two people in the state of Texas. Whether or not the jury process was tainted will be decided by the Supreme Court, and we will respect that.”

What were they expecting Perry to do… stomp his feet and hold his breath until he turned blue? This is all part of the normal appeals process, as the governor is clearly aware. He’s doing his job, the defense is doing theirs, and the Supreme Court is within their constitutional powers to review the case. Obviously the governor has to respect their decisions. Were he to do anything else he’d wind up looking not terribly presidential, don’t you think?

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The supporters of Troy Davis are gonna go nuts … well, you know, even MORE nuts!

Tony737 on September 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

and the Supreme Court is within their constitutional powers to review the case. Obviously the governor has to respect their decisions. Were he to do anything else he’d wind up looking not terribly presidential, don’t you think?

heh.

rbj on September 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Courts..get out of the way so we can do the job of getting rid of some of the trash in the country.

Handel on September 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

When people bring up situations like this I simply reply “Are you saying he is innocent? If you know something you should contact the authorities immediately.”

You are absolutely correct. And this is why the crowd cheered Perry on the death penalty question. Liberals never try to claim that a man was innocent only that the man who murdered several people should be kept alive for some bizarre reason. Maybe we can meet them in the middle and we won’t kill them but won’t spend any money on them anymore. In other words, we lock them in the cell and let them starve to death. Personally, I think execution is more humane.

If you don’t like the death penalty, don’t commit murder in Texas!

jeffn21 on September 21, 2011 at 11:33 AM

In this latest case, prior delays were encountered, not over whether or not to execute Foster, but over which drugs to pump into his system to finish the job.

If that’s the only issue, I’ll drive over there and put a bullet in his head right now.

Rebar on September 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Oh sure, save the white dude. /s

Alden Pyle on September 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

One note of interest here is that the arguments being made in each of these cases don’t seem to center around whether or not the convicted men are actually guilty.

IMO, that is a bit more than a note of interest.

Vashta.Nerada on September 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

A guy convicted of dragging a black man to his death behind his truck in a racially-motivated crime is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight here in Texas. Bet you don’t hear much about that one.

michaelo on September 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Nothing says guilty more than a defendant named “Cleve”.

BobMbx on September 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

What were they expecting Perry to do… stomp his feet and hold his breath until he turned blue?

Request a joint session of the state legislature and say the SCOTUS is acting stupidly?

I’m pretty sure it’s considered “presidential” nowadays to call out other branches of government in such a setting.

ButterflyDragon on September 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM

A guy convicted of dragging a black man to his death behind his truck in a racially-motivated crime is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight here in Texas. Bet you don’t hear much about that one.

michaelo on September 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

I will be toasting that one. Shouldn’t have taken this long.

XWing5 on September 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM

A guy convicted of dragging a black man to his death behind his truck in a racially-motivated crime is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight here in Texas. Bet you don’t hear much about that one.

michaelo on September 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Saw a story about that in the Daily Mail, and wondered if the ACLU and other lib anti-death-penalty groups are doing anything to stall his execution.

AZCoyote on September 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Yeah, let’s not talk about their actual GUILT, let’s talk about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

GarandFan on September 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Saw a story about that in the Daily Mail, and wondered if the ACLU and other lib anti-death-penalty groups are doing anything to stall his execution.

AZCoyote on September 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Don’t know about that but the victim’s family is objecting to the execution.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/21/us-texas-execution-son-idUSTRE78K35B20110921

Bradky on September 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I’m not sure who is most disgusting . . . Cleve, or the obstructionist court.

rplat on September 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM

If you don’t like the death penalty, don’t commit murder in Texas!

jeffn21 on September 21, 2011 at 11:33 AM

“If you come to Texas and kill someone, we will kill you back.”

Tater Salad

oldfiveanddimer on September 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Lawyers are scum.
Judges are ex-lawyers.
Therefore…..

angryed on September 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

The Foster stay is completely political. And BS on its face, and in the details. This has already been argued, and decided in Texas’ favor.

cozmo on September 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

The supporters of Troy Davis are gonna go nuts … well, you know, even MORE nuts!

Tony737 on September 21, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Yes, indeed.

SouthernGent on September 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Hey, is that dirtbag Davis dead yet?

See mythicknight, that’s how you work your comments into a thread without being so off topic.

hawkdriver on September 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM

No, it’s not unusual. It’s just the result of last minute appeals being filed by the defense.

Contrary to the thug lovers, the courts bend over backwards to both be fair and to give the appearance of fairness.

http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2011/09/another-stay-in-foster.html

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Cheer up, everyone!

Plenty more where he came from:

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/deathrow.htm

RedNewEnglander on September 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

What? No thug love for Lawrence Brewer?

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 12:06 PM

So, where are all the Hollywood notables? Where are the nighttime candle vigils and protests over this? Where are the docudramas highlighting this schmuck’s life?

Damn, a white guy can’t catch a break these days. /

coldwarrior on September 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

And Brad, one son is not the victims “family”.

hawkdriver on September 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Bradky on September 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Interesting article. Thanks for the link. I applaud the family members’ philosophical consistency in their opposition to the death penalty, even for the vermin who butchered their loved one.

AZCoyote on September 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM

A guy convicted of dragging a black man to his death behind his truck in a racially-motivated crime is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight here in Texas. Bet you don’t hear much about that one.

michaelo on September 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Those guys deserve their punishment…but you’re right. I’m sure we won’t hear a peep.

capejasmine on September 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

And Brad, one son is not the victims “family”.

hawkdriver on September 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Hawk, don’t be disingenuous.

Unlike Byrd’s children and wife, all of whom oppose the use of the death penalty against his killers, other family members have been supportive of it.

Bradky on September 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

“Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can’t hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn’t what we want.”

I”m not impressed. Brewer has absolutely no remorse and is still a committed white supremacist. He may ot be able to hurt his father anymore, but what about other blacks? You think i general pop he won’t join a gang ad target blacks? Ha!

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

One note of interest here is that the arguments being made in each of these cases don’t seem to center around whether or not the convicted men are actually guilty.

I thought that absent new evidence, appeals have to address technical issues rather than the question of guilt.

Quisp on September 21, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Remember Byrd’s daughter’s ads against Bush in 2000? She whined that Bush did not support hate crime laws. My lefty friend always use to bring this up until I told him that 2 of the murderers got death and what possible increased sentence was he suggesting.

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I went to college on the other side of those red brick walls in Huntsville at Sam Houston State. My brother KAs and other frats attend those vigils supporting the death penalty.

cartooner on September 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

A guy convicted of dragging a black man to his death behind his truck in a racially-motivated crime is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight here in Texas. Bet you don’t hear much about that one.

michaelo on September 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

I wonder what the race of the victims was in the two that have been delayed compared with the one that will not be. I honestly don’t know, they may all be the same. Anyone?

Midas on September 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Media fodder, nothing more. If this were happening in a different state, or the governor weren’t a Republican presidential candidate, it would not be news.

Freelancer on September 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Remember Byrd’s daughter’s ads against Bush in 2000? She whined that Bush did not support hate crime laws. My lefty friend always use to bring this up until I told him that 2 of the murderers got death and what possible increased sentence was he suggesting.

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

He obviously wanted Bush included in the death count.

Midas on September 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

They’ve upped security around the prison tonight. Not sure what type of trouble they are expecting.

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Unlike Byrd’s children and wife, all of whom oppose the use of the death penalty against his killers, other family members have been supportive of it.

Bradky on September 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Agreed, don’t be disingenuous.

The Byrd family petitioned the court to seek the death penalty. It’s easy to act like you’ve done a 180 once it seems that nothing can stop it.

hawkdriver on September 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Great interview with the prosecutor in the Troy Davis, cop killer, case.

http://www.11alive.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1171443895001

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

It is important to note that Texas did not have life without parole until 2005. Anyone convicted of murder BEFORE that date had to be sentenced to death OR they were eligible for parole at some point. Texas juries felt like they had no other choices but death or eventual release. I haven’t run the numbers, but I’m willing to bet that since life without parole was signed into law, the number of death sentences has gone down.

Margee on September 21, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I’m sure this will sort itself out shortly, and he’ll be on the road to H*ll soon enough…

Khun Joe on September 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM

The issue is the Supreme court deciding states issues again. This reeks of anti-capital punishment politics.

This is all well and good, but that seamless garment metaphor regarding treating pre-born, or in the case of our president -the just-born, life, in identical manner is essential.

Of course the moral weight of being innocent life versus a hardened taker of innocent life, make the key difference.

To kill the innocent arbitrarily (fathers need not interfere) and save the criminal murderer -reflects upon our society as not being one that is civilized -at least not in a Judeo-Christian sense.

Don L on September 21, 2011 at 2:09 PM

A guy convicted of dragging a black man to his death behind his truck in a racially-motivated crime is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight here in Texas. Bet you don’t hear much about that one.

michaelo on September 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Yep, he’s the first of three, and he’s ready to die – not fighting the execution.

Ward Cleaver on September 21, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Agreed, don’t be disingenuous.

The Byrd family petitioned the court to seek the death penalty. It’s easy to act like you’ve done a 180 once it seems that nothing can stop it.

hawkdriver on September 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

The weird thing is, those guys knew Byrd, and hung out and drank with him. That’s why it didn’t make any sense.

Ward Cleaver on September 21, 2011 at 2:27 PM

It is important to note that Texas did not have life without parole until 2005. Anyone convicted of murder BEFORE that date had to be sentenced to death OR they were eligible for parole at some point. Texas juries felt like they had no other choices but death or eventual release. I haven’t run the numbers, but I’m willing to bet that since life without parole was signed into law, the number of death sentences has gone down.

Margee on September 21, 2011 at 1:59 PM

It’s also important to note that lwop sentences are often due to “stealth jurors” who lie to get on the jury. A guy in Missouri out out of prison, killed a couple of people, came down to Texas, stopped and murdered an entire family including children and the pregnant mother. Because one juror refused to even consider death, the creep got life.

Then there was the illegal alien, already picked up and deported once, stopped for a ticket and when the officer put him in the squad car, he pulled a gun and shot the officer dead. He got life and last fall tried to escape.

Blake on September 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Nothing says guilty more than a defendant named “Cleve”.

BobMbx on September 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Not even “Cleve Wayne”?

capitalist piglet on September 21, 2011 at 10:04 PM