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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Texas: Tilon Carter receives new execution date

Tilon Carter
Tilon Carter
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A Texas death row inmate whose execution date scheduled for this week was halted because of a legal technicality has received a new execution date.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the prison agency has received court documents setting 37-year-old prisoner Tilon Carter’s lethal injection for May 16.

Carter had been set to die Tuesday for smothering an 89-year-old man during a robbery at the man’s Fort Worth home. 

Carter was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the 2004 death of 89-year-old James Tomlin in his Fort Worth home. 

Carter and LaKeitha Allen broke into Tomlin's home, bound him with duct tape and robbed him, according to court records.

Carter has maintained that he never meant for Tomlin to die, that he tied him up and left with the money. But a medical examiner ruled Tomlin died from being smothered, as well as from being tied up and left in a dangerous position.


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued an order last Friday halting the punishment because a state office that represents death row inmates was notified of the scheduled punishment a half-day late, a violation of state law.

Carter was condemned for the 2004 robbery and slaying of James Tomlin, a retired Bell Helicopter worker.

Source: The Associated Press, February 9, 2017

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