Texas Judge Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON -- A state district judge in Houston has granted a pretrial motion declaring the death penalty unconstitutional, a decision that the Texas attorney general called "an act of unabashed judicial activism."

The motion was one of many submitted by defense attorneys Bob Loper and Casey Keirnan arguing Texas' death penalty was unconstitutional for their client, John Edward Green Jr., the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offered to help the district attorney appeal Judge Kevin Fine's decision, which Abbott said ignored U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

Fine's decision is unlikely to withstand appellate review, said Sandra Guerra Thompson, professor at the University of Houston Law Center.

Green, 23, is accused of fatally shooting a Houston woman and wounding her sister on June 16, 2008.

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