<< Trust in the Judiciary | Main | BJS: Gun Homicides Down >>

Texas Execution

Michael Graczyk reports for AP:

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- A Texas death row inmate convicted of killing a fellow drug dealer while robbing him outside of a Waco convenience store 10 years ago has been executed.

Carroll Joe Parr received a lethal injection Tuesday evening. Appeals to block the punishment were rejected last week in the state and federal courts. And last-day appeals filed by Parr himself were denied at the U.S. Supreme Court and his trial court.

The SCOTUS denial is not on the high court's website as of this writing. 

Update:  Ed Marshall informs us in the comments that Justice Scalia denied the application on his own, so there will not be an order of the Court.

Congress vested the stay power in individual justices (see 28 U.S.C. ยง2101(f)), so the procedure is to apply to the justice assigned to the circuit from which the case comes.  For Texas (Fifth Circuit), that is Justice Scalia.  However, the Court established long ago (in a case related to the Aaron Burr conspiracy) that a power vested in individual justices may be exercised by the full court.  For stays of execution in capital cases, the usual practice is for the individual justice to refer the stay application to the court for decision.

Why wasn't that done in this case?  Probably the time crunch.  It is also possible that Justice Scalia conferred with his colleagues informally and determined the full court would deny it before issuing the denial individually.

Update 2:  The docket is now available here.


Kent, Parr's final pro se stay application was denied in chambers by Justice Scalia, so there won't be an order.

I suspect that Justice Scalia did not refer the application to the full court because the court had denied cert. on January 7, 2013, and the stay application was filed by Parr pro se.

That is, I suspect that it was so clear that the pro se stay application was meritless -- perhaps because the only possible grounds for cert. had already been rejected -- that there was no reason to refer it to the full court.

Maybe. We will probably never know. Many stay petitions are successive and patently meritless, but they are normally referred to the court. I doubt the pro se status of the petition would be a reason for handling it differently. I still think the timing was the main reason.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives