Thomas Whitaker 'given new life' after death penalty commuted, his dad says

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- The Sugar Land man, who was within an hour of execution when the call came for clemency, is now off death row. Bart Whitaker has been moved to an inmate processing facility in Huntsville, a day after his death sentence was commuted. Gov. Greg Abbott commuted the death sentence of the 38-year-old Thursday after considering the pleas of Whitaker's father, Kent,

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| February 24, 2018 |

Does Parkland shooter, a ‘broken child,’ deserve death? The legal battle looms

When, just two days after the 17 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz's legal team offered to plead him guilty, right then and there, if prosecutors would waive the death penalty, that giant gasp you heard was the breath of South Florida defense attorneys. Publicly admitting your client did it is not exactly conventional defense strategy,

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| February 23, 2018 |

On Execution Day, Three Killers in Different States Meet Different Fates

They were three killers — each set to be executed on Thursday night in different states. But by the end of the day, each had met a different fate. In Texas, the governor granted a rare death row commutation for Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. Shortly after 6 p.m., after Eric Scott Branch’s last-ditch appeals were denied, Florida put him to death. And in Alabama, the state delayed the execution of

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| February 23, 2018 |

Execution of Alabama inmate Doyle Lee Hamm called off

Doyle Lee Hamm survived his date with the executioner Thursday, as Alabama was unable to begin the procedure before the death warrant expired at midnight. Hamm, 61, was convicted of killing Cullman hotel clerk Patrick Cunningham in January 1987. Recent appeals in his case involved the question of whether cancer had left him healthy enough to be executed without excessive suffering.

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| February 23, 2018 |

Florida executes Eric Branch

FLORIDA -- The state executed a man for the 1993 rape and murder of a Florida college student Thursday. Authorities say 47-year-old Eric Scott Branch was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Thursday after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison. Eric Scott Branch, 46, was found guilty for the 1993 rape and murder of Susan Morris in Pensacola.  Authorities said Branch attacked Susan Morris

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| February 22, 2018 |

Texas: Man who plotted his family's murder will not be executed, governor says

The governor of Texas decided today to spare the life of a convicted killer who carried out a plot to kill his parents and his brother. About 40 minutes before the scheduled execution, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he would grant clemency to 38-year-old Thomas "Bart" Whitaker. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a rare recommendation, voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the "

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| February 22, 2018 |

Texas Governor Abbot commutes death sentence of Thomas Whitaker

BREAKING: GovAbbott has commuted the death sentence of #ThomasWhitaker, accepting the unanimous decision by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Whitaker will now serve life in prison. Source: Twitter feed, February 22, 2018 ⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the

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| February 22, 2018 |

Texas Governor Weighs Parole Board's Advice on Thomas Whitaker's Fate

The fate of a convicted Texas killer nearing execution is in Gov. Greg Abbott's hands after the state parole board made the rare recommendation that the prisoner's life be spared. HOUSTON (AP) — The fate of a convicted Texas killer was in Gov. Greg Abbott's hands Wednesday after the state parole board recommended sparing the prisoner's life at the urging of his father, who survived the

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| February 22, 2018 |

Thomas Whitaker awaits Gov. Greg Abbott's life or death decision ahead of execution

As a death row inmate waits for the Texas governor to decide if he should live or die, he gets a final visit with his father, who survived his son's murder plot and later pleaded for his son's life. Thomas Whitaker’s life is in the governor’s hands as the clock ticks toward his Thursday night execution. Whitaker, 38, is set to die after 6 p.m. for the 2003 murders of his mother and

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| February 22, 2018 |
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