Houston Crime Lab

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A state senator says the governor should stop executions of Harris County inmates until newly discovered evidence can be analyzed.

State Senator John Whitmire says the nearly 300 boxes of evidence that were recently found in the Houston Police Department could be related to death penalty cases. He says the evidence could exonerate some inmates and prove others really are guilty.

Whitmire chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and describes himself as a strong supporter of the death penalty. But he delivered a letter to Republican Governor Rick Perry Monday asking that he suspend Harris County executions until March of 2005.

Perry spokeswoman Kathy Walt says the governor does NOT support calls for a death penalty moratorium. She says Perry goes through each case individually anyway.

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