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Texas lawmaker defends 19 inmate deaths: Texans ‘don’t want air-conditioned prisons’

Lawmakers in Texas on Tuesday defended the lack of air-conditioning in state prisons after a report linked 19 inmate deaths to extreme heat. A study released by the University of Texas Law School’s Human Rights Clinic warned that the state was violating the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment,…

Texas executes man convicted in 2001 triple murder while on drug binge

Texas executed by lethal injection on Wednesday a man who was convicted of stabbing his girlfriend, her child, and her mother to death after a cocaine binge in 2001. Jose Luis Villegas Jr., 39, was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. CDT (8.04 p.m. ET) after receiving a lethal dose of…

Rick Perry orders Texas prisons not to follow federal rape prevention law

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has told the Department of Justice that he has ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice not to abide by federal rules that were designed to prevent prison rapes. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week, Perry explained that Texas could not…

Two men executed by Texas and Arizona with unapproved drugs

Two men were executed in the United States with a drug not yet approved by federal authorities, after the Supreme Court denied one of the inmate’s final appeal. In Texas, which has put to death more people than any other US state, prison authorities said Michael Yowell was pronounced dead…

Texas executes first woman in nearly three years

By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) – Texas on Wednesday executed by lethal injection a woman convicted of stabbing her elderly neighbor to death in 1997, the first U.S. execution of a woman in nearly three years, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was pronounced dead…

Texas executes man for 1990 murder and rape conviction

A 50-year-old Texas burglar convicted of murdering a man and raping his wife during a 1990 break-in was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, state justice officials said. Rickey Lewis, 50, was executed at 6:32pm local time (2332 GMT), a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. Lewis…

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