Wednesday, November 15, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: A Rabbi Condemns Israeli Government Violence
2000-11-15

Texas to Execute Mentally Retarded Man

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

Last night, Texas executed its 36th person of the year. Stacey Lawton, who was 31 years old, was killed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas, for killing a man during a Christmas Eve robbery.

The state has two more executions scheduled this week, which would give it a record 38 for the year, the most by any state since U.S. authorities began keeping death penalty records in 1930. Three more executions are scheduled in December.

Tony Chambers is set to be killed tonight, and tomorrow night it will be Johnny Paul Penry, who has an IQ of 54.

Today, we are going to take a look at the case of Johnny Paul Penry. His lawyers say that he is so mentally retarded that he still believes in Santa Claus, and has the reasoning capacity of a seven-year-old. He has been on death row for 20 years, and his life now depends on the US Supreme Court and Texas Governor George W. Bush, after his case was turned down by lower courts and by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Guests:

  • Robert Smith, attorney for Johnny Penry.
  • Patricia Williams, author of the amicus brief filed by several mental health organizations before the US Supreme Court.
  • Stanley Herr, professor at the University of Maryland and co-author of an amicus brief that the American Association on Mental Retardation and eight other organizations filed before the US Supreme Court on behalf of Johnny Penry.

Contact:

  • Texas Governor George W. Bush, Call: 512.433.2000.

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    Fgf-kids-protest
    Earth Day Special: "Fierce Green Fire" Documentary Explores Environmental Movement’s Global Rise
    In an Earth Day special, we look at the history of the global environmental movement as told in the sweeping new documentary, "A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet." We air extended highlights from the film — from New York housewives who take on a major chemical company that polluted their community of Love Canal to Greenpeace’s campaigns to save whales, to the fight by Chico Mendes and Brazilian rubber tappers to save the Amazon rainforest. We also speak to the film’s Oscar-nominated director, Mark...

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.