Criminal Justice

A Texan man on death row who was scheduled to be the nation’s first execution since the botched lethal injection in Oklahoma has been granted a stay. The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals halted Robert James Campbell’s execution based on an IQ score taken in 1982.

Campbell came within hours of being executed, but the U5th Circuit believed there was sufficient evidence to prove Campbell would’ve been labeled intellectually disabled  if certain pieces of evidence hadn’t been withheld during his original trial.

Flickr user: hitthatswitch / CC

The complication-laden execution of Clayton Lockett, an Oklahoma death-row inmate, last week had everyone from President Obama to the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights weighing in on the tragic and torturous event.

Following a botched execution in Oklahoma, anti-death penalty groups and attorneys are once again calling on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide full transparency in the state's execution process.

TPR News

Last session lawmakers passed a bill that provides employers liability relief when they hire nonviolent offenders. In this interim period ahead of the 2015 session, members of the House are considering adding landlords to that same list.

Studies show former offenders with stable housing are less likely to commit another crime, which is one of the reasons the Texas House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence is discussing whether to provide legal protection by allowing landlords liability relief when they rent to ex-offenders.

According to state officials, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice counts a large number of inmates with mental illness and drug addiction because the state lacks funding for their treatment. 

On Tuesday members of the House Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a special joint committee hearing to discuss the huge influx of mentally ill people who are being sent to prison.