source: ABC News
published: 2 September 2016
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday halted the execution scheduled for later this month of a man convicted of killing a Houston police officer 28 years ago.
Robert Jennings, 58, was set for lethal injection Sept. 14 for fatally shooting Elston Howard, a Houston police vice officer, at an adult bookstore in Houston in July 1988. It’s the fourth execution stopped by the state’s highest criminal appeals court over the past month. Different issues were raised in each case.
The brief five-paragraph order from the court indicates four of the panel’s nine judges opposed the reprieve for Jennings. The court offered no reason for stopping the punishment, saying only that it should be halted “pending further order of this court.”
Attorneys for Jennings are questioning in an appeal before the court whether jury instructions during the punishment phase of his trial were proper, arguing jurors couldn’t adequately consider Jennings’ remorse about the killing when they were deliberating punishment.