Friday 24 November 2017

Texas bids to carry out its first single-drug execution

Michael Graczyk in Huntsville, Texas

A 33-year-old man convicted of carjacking and shooting to death a stockbroker could today become the first person in Texas to be executed using a single dose of the sedative pentobarbital.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials announced last week they were modifying a three-drug execution procedure used since 1982 because the state's supply of one of the three drugs has expired.

Yokamon Hearn was sentenced to death for the March 1998 slaying of Frank Meziere. Hearn has appeals before the US Supreme Court to stay his execution, but none of them address the change in the state's execution drug policy.

In one Hearn's lawyers argued that his mother drank alcohol when she was pregnant, leaving him with mental impairments that disqualify him from execution under earlier Supreme Court rulings.

In another, his lawyers claim the trial attorneys failed to investigate his background and uncover evidence of his alleged mental impairment and troubled childhood.

Irish Independent

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