The Latest: Court refuses inmate’s appeal ahead of execution
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled execution of a Texas inmate (all times local):
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused a last-day appeal from condemned Texas inmate Robert Jennings, clearing the way for his execution for the slaying of a Houston police officer more than three decades ago.
The 61-year-old Jennings is set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the shooting death of 24-year-old Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore in July 1988.
Jennings’ attorneys had argued to the high court that he had deficient legal help during earlier stages of his appeals.
The justices ruled about 45 minutes before Jennings could be taken to the Texas death chamber.
The execution would be the first in the nation this year.
A 61-year-old Texas inmate faces execution for killing a Houston police officer more than three decades ago.
Robert Jennings is scheduled to receive lethal injection Wednesday evening. He was condemned for the July 1988 slaying of Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore.
If executed, he would be the first inmate put to death this year both in the U.S. and in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.
Jennings’ attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his execution.
They argue his trial attorneys failed to ask jurors to fully consider evidence — including details of his remorse for the officer’s shooting and possible brain damage — that might have spared him a death sentence.