Appeals Court Grants Last Minute Stay of Execution In Huntsville

By: The Associated Press/KBTX Staff Email
By: The Associated Press/KBTX Staff Email

HUNTSVILLE - An execution planned for Tuesday night in Huntsville is on hold.

A stay has been granted in the scheduled execution of Robert Campbell by the Fifth Circuit Court over claims he is mentally impaired.

It would have been the first execution to take place since a botched Oklahoma execution two weeks ago.

One appeal challenged the state's plan to use a lethal injection drug for which it will not reveal the source.

But it was Robert Campbell's mental state that prompted the stay of execution.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals wants to take a closer look to see if Campbell's IQ is too low for him to be put to death.

The formidable fortress of the Walls Unit in Huntsville was to be the last place 41-year-old Robert Campbell would see.

At last minute the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of his execution because of questions about his intelligence.

Campbell murdered Alexandra Rendon, a bank teller in Houston in 1991.

That's after he kidnapped her from a gas station, raped her, and shot her in the back leaving her to die.

This would have been the first execution in the country since the botched lethal injection of Oklahoma Inmate Clayton Lockett, who eventually had a heart attack and died.

Oklahoma uses three drugs instead of one.

"Texas uses a single lethal dose of pentobarbita.l We have used that protocol since 2012 and executed 33 individuals using that protocol. Those executions have taken place without complication," said Jason Clark who is the Director of Public Information for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"I can't comment specifically on the Oklahoma incident. I can tell you though that it appears to be less about the drugs and more about the procedure," he said.

For the Texas Department of Criminal Justice it's just another normal execution, but they do say there is a lot more media interest than there normally is.

The individuals that participate in that process are very professional they have extensive training, have been through it a number of times, so again we're not anticipating any incident.," said Jason Clark.

The next scheduled execution in Huntsville is scheduled for August 6th for convicted murderer Manuel Vasquez of the San Antonio area, who was a member of the Mexican Mafia.

There is no word on how long this appeal process will take.

We have reached out to Robert Campbell's attorneys for their reaction but have not been able to make contact with them.

*Associated Press Story*

A federal appeals court has rejected a Texas death row inmate's appeal that his execution could result in a bungled lethal injection similar to one two weeks ago in Oklahoma.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said late Monday that speculation about Texas' use of a lethal drug from a secret provider is not enough to prove Robert James Campbell's claim that the punishment could cause unconstitutional pain and suffering.

Oklahoma authorities say a broken vein caused the failure of Clayton Lockett's execution.

Campbell's execution is scheduled for Tuesday evening. His attorney says she's taking the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another appeal contending Campbell is mentally impaired and ineligible for execution remains before the 5th Circuit. Attorneys have a petition about the issue before the Supreme Court.

State records show Campbell was convicted in the 1991 abduction, rape, and murder of a Houston bank teller.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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