Derrick Sonnier - TX

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Derrick Sonnier - TX

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:25 pm

Courts grant go-ahead in Sonnier execution, date set

Following a ruling by the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, the clock is
once again ticking for convicted killer Derrick Sonnier. He was scheduled
to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. June 3 at the Huntsville
"Walls" Unit when the execution was stopped. A few days later, June 9, the
TCCA lifted the stay of execution.

The execution of convicted killer Derrick Sonnier, 40, received a green
light once again less than a week after his scheduled death by lethal
injection was halted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

According to Roe Wilson, Harris County assistant district attorney, the
execution is set for July 23 in Huntsville. The new date was set June 13
after the stay imposed by the TCCA was lifted.

The states highest court stopped Sonniers execution June 3 only an hour
prior to the event after attorneys filed a last-minute appeal, maintaining
that lethal injection would violate their clients Eighth Amendment right
against cruel and unusual punishment.

After reviewing Sonnier's claim, the TCCA ruled that Sonnier has not made
a "showing of a constitutional violation." Of the 9 TCAA judges, 2 voted
against the lift on the stay of execution for Sonnier.

TCCA documents further show that judges argued that the Texas lethal
injection process is very similar to the Kentucky protocol which was just
recently upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, in respect to
both the chemicals used during lethal injection as well as in the training
of those individuals administering the drugs.

Judges J. Cochran and J. Womack, proposed to lifting the stay of
execution, opined that recent changes in the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice Execution Procedure manual, effective May 30, were designed to
mirror Kentucky's procedures even more closely.

Sonnier was convicted of the 1991 murder of Humble resident Melody Flowers
and her 2-year-old son, Patrick. He was convicted and sentenced to death
by a Harris County jury and was received on death row in March 1993.

Sonnier has been scheduled for execution 3 times - originally in October
2007, February of this year and again most recently in June.

The stay of execution granted June 3 was greeted by the victim's family
with emotional outbursts in front of the Huntsville "Walls" Unit death
chamber. Now, the clock is once again ticking for Sonnier.

"The train to justice unfortunately moves at a snail's pace and sometimes
you get hit by unexpected barricades like what happened last Tuesday with
Sonnier's stay of execution," said crime victims advocate Andy Kahan. "For
the victims family its one emotional roller coaster after another and
hopefully now the train is back on its path toward justice. There is no
issue of guilt or innocence. This family has waited long enough."

(source: The Humble Observerf)

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