Texas

Pasadena’s double murderer is set to die Tuesday night in his third execution in Texas this year

Sign up for The Brief. This is a daily newsletter that keeps readers informed of the most important Texas news.

Texas plans to carry out its third execution this year on Tuesday night, fatally injecting Rick Rhodes 30 years ago for killing two men at his home in the Houston area. In a final effort, his lawyer wants to delay executions while investigating whether racial prejudice during jury selection has polluted his trial.

According to prison records, Rhodes, now 57, was convicted of killing Brothers Charles and Bradley Allen in September 1991, the day after he was released on parole from a five-year sentence for car theft and burglary. Received. Court records say he confessed to the murder when Rhoades was arrested weeks later for robbing the school.

advertisement

According to court records, after he was released from prison, Rhodes told police he began drinking while he took a bus to Houston and wandered his old neighborhood early in the morning. Eventually, Rhodes and Charles Allen were involved in a dispute outside Allen’s house in Pasadena, and Rhodes chased inside Allen because he thought he had a gun.

According to records, Rhodes hit Allen with a metal rod and stabbed him with a knife that Allen grabbed during the attack. Bradley Allen came out and started beating Rhodes, who stabbed his brother. The prosecution said Rhodes had clean clothes and cash when he left the house.

Rhoades told police he learned that his brother had died in the news later that day. When discovered during a school robbery a few weeks later, Rhodes said he was “tired from running” and suffered from murder, records said.

Shortly after being sentenced to death in 1992, white Rhoades began accusing Harris County prosecutors of excluding the jury candidate from the trial because he was black. A Texas court said his lawyer claimed that the county had a history of trying to exclude blacks from jury trials.

advertisement

When choosing a jury for a trial, lawyers and prosecutors can remove a limited number of people from the potential jury pool without giving a reason, unless the reason is racial. increase. Rhoades lawyers challenged two race-related strikes in court and appeal, claiming that prosecutors scrutinized the reaction of two black juries rather than whites in the jury. bottom.

By 2019, state and federal courts at all levels have dismissed Rhoades’ objection, and finally, prosecutors are racially unrelated to beating two blacks from the jury pool. I have found that there is a good reason. Of the 14 strikes allowed without explanation, the prosecutor also striked 12 whites, the Court of Appeals said.

advertisement

The Rhoades jury eventually consisted of 10 white juries, one Hispanic jury and the other was unclear from court records, the Court of Appeals said.

This year, Rhoades lawyers again sought missing information about the jury candidate. They have not disclosed more information, such as the racial breakdown of the entire jury pool, preventing Rhodes from presenting an argument that his trial was destroyed by racial prejudice. Insisted.

“He was prevented from developing and filing his allegations because the state denied access to the materials required by state law, the materials needed to perform a comparative analysis of the jury,” his lawyer said in July. Submitted to the district court.

A law firm in the Harris County district told Rhodes’ lawyers that there were more records available in the jury pool, but the court of first instance must order the records to be made public. A judge in the Trial Court said she had no jurisdiction and would not rule on this matter, prompting Rhoades’ latest appeal against state and federal courts.

advertisement

“Under state law, under state law, it is clear that the motions submitted by lawyers were the exact means of requesting access to jury information, and in fact the district attorney did not disagree. “Hmm,” his lawyer insisted in last week’s submission.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Texas Criminal Appeals Court in July refused to order a judge in the court to rule on this matter, but a dissenting judge refused the judge’s refusal to the court. He said it was inconsistent with the precedent and suggested that the court should ask the judge for the reason. She did not think she had jurisdiction. The Federal District Court and the Court of Appeals also dismissed Rhoades’ motion as of Monday.

Rhoades’ lawyer said Monday that he would appeal to the US Supreme Court as a last resort.

In a filing this month, the Texas Attorney General’s office claimed that the court was unjustified in suspending executions after Rhodes’ lawyers had not asked for this information for decades. “It’s time,” said Josh Rice, who heads the post-conviction warrant division of the Harris County District Attorney.

advertisement

“It’s been thirty years,” he said. “If you kill two people within 24 hours of parole, it’s like a typical threat to society.”

The 2021 Texas Tribune Festival, a week-long political and policy festival featuring celebrities and bold ideas, took place on September 25, but there’s still time to go. Explore dozens of free on-demand events by midnight on Thursday, September 30th. , At tribfest.org.

Pasadena’s double murderer is set to die Tuesday night in his third execution in Texas this year

Source link Pasadena’s double murderer is set to die Tuesday night in his third execution in Texas this year

Back to top button