HOUSTON (AP) — Texas' highest criminal court has stopped an unusual court hearing on the constitutionality of the death penalty in the state.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday granted a request by the Harris County District Attorney's Office to stop the hearing. The court has asked attorneys to file motions on whether the legal proceeding should resume.
The hearing began Monday in Houston as ordered by a state judge who declared the Texas death penalty statute unconstitutional last spring. Under heavy criticism, the judge clarified then rescinded his ruling and ordered the hearing.
Lawyers for the Houston man who had asked for the hearing said they intended to show how flaws in death penalty prosecutions create a risk that innocent people will be executed.
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