HOUSTON — An unusual hearing on the death penalty will begin Monday in Texas — a deeply conservative state that's executed more inmates than any other in the country.
The hearing was called by Harris County Judge Kevin Fine, who last spring surprised many Texans when he granted a motion declaring the state's death penalty statute unconstitutional. Fine later took back the ruling and ordered the hearing. He says he needs more information.
Fine issued his order in the case of John Edward Green Jr., who is charged with fatally shooting a Houston woman and wounding her sister during a June 2008 robbery.
It comes after death penalty opponents created serious doubt recently about whether two men were wrongly executed: one in 2000, and one in 2004.