Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, August 18, 1999 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Texas Governor George W. Bush 100th Execution
1999-08-18

Texas Stays Larry Robison’s Execution, But Is Set to Execute Another Prisoner Today

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

Just hours before Texas was to put to death a mentally ill man yesterday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted him a stay of execution. Lawyers for Larry Robison, a paranoid schizophrenic man, had argued that he was not mentally competent to be executed, and the courts have asked for an evaluation of his condition. The Court, composed of nine republicans—eight of them former prosecutors—split in a 5-4 decision in favor of staying Robison’s execution.

Robison confessed to killing five people in August of 1982. His lawyers and his family say that he was severely mentally ill at the time, and Pope John Paul II and several mental health organizations have appealed for mercy on his behalf. Robison’s family says that the state refused to give him proper treatment for his illness, and he was released from several public hospitals just before he went on a killing spree. Mental health advocates have pointed out that while Texas spends an average of $2 million in capital trials, it ranks 49th in the country for mental health spending.

Yesterday on Democracy Now!, just before going to the prison to see her son for what she thought would be the last time, Larry Robison’s mother, Lois Robison, told us about her family’s ordeal in dealing with Larry’s mental illness, his crimes and his death sentence and impending execution.

She joins us again today to tell us about what happened yesterday.

Guests:

  • Lois Robison, mother of Larry Robison.
  • Melodee Smith, Attorney for Larry Robison.

Related links:

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.