Houston Police Chief Calls for Moratorium on Executions

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and State Sen. Rodney Ellis are calling for a moratorium on executions in Harris County, Texas due to the uncertainty of lab evidence used to obtain convictions...and the number of exonerations. Any final decision is up to the courts.

"I think we now have clearly reached a point where we have to stop carrying out executions until this mess in our crime lab is cleaned up," Ellis, D-Houston, said during a news conference.

And they follow two troubling years of turmoil for the crime lab, which suspended DNA testing in December 2002 because of widespread problems that included an undertrained staff, shoddy science and conditions ripe for evidence contamination. Questions also have plagued two other major divisions in the lab, casting doubt on thousands of criminal convictions.

"I think it would be very prudent for us as a system, a criminal justice system, to delay further executions until we've had an opportunity to re-examine evidence that played a particular role in the conviction of an individual that was sentenced to death," Hurtt said.

As a reminder, John Kerry has voiced support for a moratorium on the federal death penalty due to the number of innocents released from death row.

< Premium Ad Space Opening Up | Supreme Court Sets Date for Medical Marijuana Argument >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: