TEXAS (USA): ROBERT MITCHELL JENNINGS EXECUTED
January 31, 2019:
Robert Mitchell Jennings was executed on 30 January 2019. (Sources: The Marshall Project, 30/01/2019)
Jennings, 61, Black, was sentenced to death in 1989 for killing Houston Police Officer Elston Howard, 24, on July 19, 1988 while attempting to rob an adult bookstore.
"I shot him in the back two times," Jennings confessed, according to court records.
At the time of the robbery, Jennings was on parole after serving 10 years of a 30-year sentence for another robbery.
A co-defendant, Robert Harvell, drove the getaway car.
Harvell was given a 55-year sentence for his role in the crime. In 2009, Jennings filed an appeal claiming ineffective assistance of counsel during the punishment phase of his trial. He charged that his attorneys failed to present psychological reports as evidence of mental defect, including indications he had an IQ in the mid-60s and organic brain dysfunction and did not seek the testimony of his family members regarding his troubled background.
The federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas on 23/04/2012 granted a request for a new sentencing hearing based on his first two claims. Thus began a series of court actions in which the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the district court decision, and then the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court, which in 2015 reaffirmed its first decision.
Jennings becomes the 1st person executed in Texas this year, and the 559th since Texas resumes executions in 1982. Jennings becomes the 1st person executed in Usa in 2019, and the 1,491st since the United States resumed executions in 1977.