USA: Texas urged to halt execution of man for crime committed as teenager

Posted: 08 October 2012

*Racial bias claims have dogged Anthony Haynes case

*A judge was reprimanded for assembling guns during jury selection
Amnesty International has called on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and state governor Rick Perry to grant clemency to man due to be executed in Texas next week.
Anthony Haynes, a 33-year-old African-American man, is due to be executed on 18 October for a crime committed when he was 19 years old. Haynes was sentenced to death in 1999 for the fatal shooting of off-duty police officer Kent Kincaid – who was white – in Houston a year earlier.
Claims of racial discrimination, inadequate legal representation and judicial and prosecutorial misconduct have marked the case. Only one of the 12 jurors at his original trial was African American after the prosecutor summarily dismissed four of six black prospective jurors.  In 2009, a federal appeals court ruled that Haynes should get a new trial because of such racial discrimination claims, but the US Supreme Court later overturned the ruling saying that to let it stand would have “important implications”.
Judicial misconduct also tainted the proceedings – the judge who oversaw the controversial jury selection process dismantled and cleaned two guns in full view of the would-be jurors. He was later reprimanded by the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct – which found that he had “disassembled and reassembled two revolvers” – but Haynes’ death sentence was allowed to stand.
Meanwhile, at the trial, the jury never learned that Haynes had taken crystal methamphetamine two days before the shooting, or what effect this had had on him. No expert testimony was presented on his history of mental health problems or on the mitigating effect of youth. The prosecutor was able to argue to the jury that “no mitigation” had been presented and that Haynes was “a dangerous predator that nothing can mitigate”.
Since his conviction, over 30 people have signed sworn statements filed in court saying that, if asked, they would have been willing to testify that the crime was shockingly out of character for a teenager they knew as non-violent and respectful.
Haynes is said to have been a model inmate and to have long expressed deep remorse for the death of Sergeant Kincaid. On 24 September, Haynes’ lawyer filed a motion in federal court seeking a stay of execution, but otherwise his ordinary appeals have been exhausted.
Amnesty has written to the Texas parole board and submitted a report on the case (see:
Amnesty International USA researcher Rob Freer said:
“To obtain a death sentence for Anthony Haynes, the prosecution had to persuade the jury that he would be an ongoing threat to society, even in prison.
“The state’s case was weak – the defendant had no prior criminal record – but it was helped by the failure of the defence lawyers to present compelling mitigating evidence available to them.
“The culture of capital justice in Texas is such that executive clemency is a rarity there, but here is another case that should give even ardent death penalty supporters pause for thought about the killing the state does in their name.”
Among those appealing for clemency is Haynes’ father, a retired Assistant Chief Investigator with the Houston Fire Department:
“The execution of my son by the State of Texas will have a devastating effect on my whole life …. Since Anthony is my only child, one of my main purposes for living will be taken away from me by his execution. I am asking you to spare my son’s life, because I know the decisions he made as a teenager are not the decisions he has made as a man. My son is a changed person who has a heart of remorse for taking Sgt Kincaid’s life.”
More than 100 of the inmates currently on death row in Texas were prosecuted in Harris County, the jurisdiction where Haynes was tried. Of the 486 people put to death in Texas since the USA resumed executions in 1977, nearly a quarter – 116 – were convicted in Harris County. If it were a separate state, the county would have the second-highest execution total in the entire USA, second only to the rest of Texas.
More than 70 of the 486 prisoners put to death in Texas were 17, 18 or 19 years old at the time of the crimes for which they were condemned. Forty were African American, 28 of whom were executed for crimes involving white victims. Nine out of 30 executions in the USA so far this year have taken place in Texas.
Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.




  1. I WAS GIVEN PAROLE RIGHT HERE IN TEXAS FOR CPITAL MURDER, A CRIME THAT I COMMITTED AT THE AGE OF 14YRS OLD IN 1991. I WAS INCARCERated for 20 flat yearS. i believe that anthony haynes is not the same person he was as a teenager. I fully understand that drugs and guns don’t mix. he realize that he made a terrible mistakes and he does have remorse for the crime he committed so he should not be put to death.if i waS GRANTED PAROLE HERE IN TEXAS FOR THE SAME CRIME ANTHONY IS SCHEDULE TO BE EXECUTED FOR…ATLEAST HE SHOULD NOT BE EXECUTED!!! MY NAME IS DERRICK BURTON AND MY TDC# 672621 IN CASE YOU WILL LIKE TO CHECK THE VALIDITY OF MY CLAIM.


    1. Hi, Derrick Burton,
      thank You so much for Your lines.
      What can i do, what can we do now for Anthony Haynes?
      I am a education./psych. scientist, and i am fully
      convinced that in atmosphere of violence a
      child has no many chances to grew up as an peace-ful angel!
      I am shivering hearing that You was incarcered in Your
      age of 14!
      Now i´ll end this writing, later more, but now we have to act.
      Please, write quickly if/when You have an idea, what i can do…
      I am living in Germany


    2. Remorse dose not bring back that person he killed so you feel that as long as he has remorse he should not be put to death wrong! there is an old saying don’t do the crime if you cant do the time, but he took a life sometthing he can’t give and that to me that is wrong, and at 19 he fully knew what he was doing and the effect of drugs no excuse we all ways want to put the blame some where else. Growing up with out a father, the streets, poverty bull, excuse’s i have never did drugs my father died when i was young my mother struggled we didn’t turn to crime or drugs so all that suff about about he is not the same person well he probably is not, then again he wasn’t the same person when he did the crime either was he


      1. Hello, Harold
        I read Your lines with deep sorror.
        We have two different facts in our life:
        We have no DeathPenalty in Germany.
        Black people: They usually live in cities,
        I am living in a little village – no other skin-colour to see as w h i t e .
        There are more differences when we are looking after them:
        We do not speak publicly about our faith, only this people who visited
        Baptistchurches or are memmbers there.
        We Catholic people are shy to make words about faith, esp. about our personal
        Next difference: In the USA so often is spoken from the Bible, from Jesus, etc.
        Many quote scriptures and speak about their faith.
        You see it is heard to undeerstand one another.
        There are much more we could mention, much more dividing our opinions.
        One is connecting us:
        we can speak about our doubts, our opinions, our sorror about DP.


  2. No one remains the same person while walking through life on Man’s Earth. Simpleminded persons with blinder work toward the goal given by honorable happy sentencing individuals: Imprisonment.
    As long as this very society of Incarceration Nation applause there is no chance in humanity’s progress.


  3. Annamaria you sound like a very nice person and if my words brought you sorrow i am sorry but i get tired of people commiting stupid crimes then people want to make excuses for them we all have had things happen to us but that dosen’t mean you have to kill others i sorry he took alife he should pay the ultimate price


  4. My heart is hurting as I know the cousin of this man I also have great sympathy for the family of the slain officer. All i can do is pray for a stay and/or pray for peace for all those involved. Anthony is not the same person n has made his peace with God. I have never believed in the death penalty n never will may God have mercy on his soul n the state of Texas


    1. Hallo, Jane
      we all bear the heavy burdon on our shoulders, we only can survive
      with praying and trusting in God´s love. we are brothers and sisters
      whether we like this thought or not. Dostojewski wrote in “The House
      of Dead Eyes” how the Russion people (poorest!) helped inprisoned humans to
      overcome the most brutal life in Sibiria and Sibirian penalty-camps…
      Curi is my Nickname


    2. Regardless how bad things may seem, God is still in control and his timing is perfect and right on time! Continue to pray for both families.


  5. We are not to judge as we have one who will judge us all on judgment day! Unless you were there at the time of the crime, only one (God) truly knows the hearts of ALL men. My prayers continue to go out to the victim’s family as well as the accuser and his family. By executing Mr. Haynes will not bring Sergent Kincaide back and will it heal the grieving wounds. Everybody deserves a second chance! Please take the time to read what Jesus did on the day of his crucifixion. What can we learn from the two thieves crucified next to Jesus?

    The life of Jesus was a mission of love and His death was no exception. The crucifixion of Jesus upon the cross at Calvary is a lesson in living. Jesus loved to teach by using metaphor. The life and death of Jesus was a metaphor for the way we should conduct our lives.

    According to Luke in chapter 23 it seems sure, at least at the beginning, one of His co-accused was riling against Him. Luke 23: 39-41 says, “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.'”
    Jesus was suffering in a way that we cannot begin to grasp or even partially understand, so too was this criminal. He was never to come down from that cross alive, and yet he saw, or sensed something in Jesus that moved him in such a way that it became the road to his salvation. If ever there was a soul hovering on the brink of Hell it was this criminal, a virtual nobody hanging beside Him, the Son of God. In a heartbeat, he voiced what his intuition had detected; that Jesus was indeed the Son of God! Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom'” (Luke: 23:42). What Jesus did next was a wonderful example of understanding, acceptance, love, and compassion all wrapped up in one conclusive act. It is the epitome of the life of Jesus, strength thru adversity. Without hesitation Jesus responded to his plea for mercy: “Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise'” (Luke:23:43). We can learn from one of the two who were crucified next to Jesus. It is never too late to repent and ask the Lord to accept us. Jesus cleansed this man from his sins, received him graciously, and justified him unconditionally. He conferred upon a sinner the gift of eternal life.

    But what of the other offender! We have learned that we can be saved, even at the very hour of our death, and yet this is not the reality for all. It comes down to a matter of faith. It is never too late to repent, and to announce your faith in Jesus!

    Yes ,Mr. Haynes committed a crime as a teenager and repented remorsefully, and yes he has changed now that he is a man!

    Peace be with you~


    1. Dear Sheila,
      I read Your lines with a deeply felt empathy for You.
      Those lines only a person is able to write who have suffered a lot in life.
      Excuse me, I don´t want to hurt You with my words.
      I am fully convinced, sheila, that Jesus is there, waiting at the door,
      waiting for each and any person who is coming home.
      MERCY is that Name of Jesus I love utmost.
      A look of seaking this godly mercy would be enough for that man,
      who was sentenced to death. Eyes speak often more than many words.
      Jesus, I made people suffer, I took a life, I destroyed families,
      only mad things very bad.
      And Jesus would say to him: Look, here is a situation you forgot:
      You helped a child to learn baseball – there on the street you have
      been grewing up, inmidst poverty, violence, destruction, desperation
      and hoplessness.
      Sheila, I only can stand here writing to You because I am living
      in the grace of God. I don´t pray a lot, but my heart is connected
      with/to Him. So simple.
      And Mr. Haynes did ONE RIGHT ACTION.
      HE ASKED, HE BEGGED, FOR MERCY (Clemency?).
      AND: he´ll get help.
      Sheila, You are praying for him because You know his casus.
      I write about him, because i heard his cry for mercy.
      the Kingway to God´s heart: to humble himself and cry for help,
      whisper for help, but: to confess: i came unto my end, there are
      walls I never could climb up to come out, please, my Lord,
      help me.
      And the Angels of the Lord are running to him who spoke these words,
      thought such thoughts…
      God bless You, Sheila
      want to hear from You again.
      (my name, curi is my nickname)


      1. Thank you Mr. Curie56 for your heartfelt spiritual words! God has truly been good to me. He blessed me more times than I can name, so I have not suffered a lot but I suffered a lot for others. My heart cries Have Mercy Lord and my tears shed pain. I have a love so strong for our fellow mankind it hurts at times my hands are tied to do nothing but my voice is a vessel and the living and true words of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ lives within me that no man can take away! I repent daily for my sins known and unknown. I deligently seek mercy for those who are lost and pray for those who are suffering. I cry out for the men/women in prisons wrongfully accused and those who deserve to be there. When God has a plan for your life, nobody can stop that plan regardless how big or small the action may look but God has it all under control!

        God Bless you my friend and peace be with you!


  6. Some quotations in answering on above. US citizen elect their lawmakers and guide them by their public opinion.
    An uncultivated savage is never a nice inquirer into the refinements of law, by which an injury may be gradually and legally inflicted.
    (Washington Irving, 1783 – 1859, in Philip of Pokanoet)
    I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
    – Abraham Lincoln
    “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is exercised under cover of law, and with the colors of justice …”
    – U.S. v. Jannotti, 673 F.2d 578, 614 (3d Cir. 1982)
    Failure is a stepping-stone to greatness.
    – Oprah Winfrey
    It is said that no-one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
    – Nelson Mandela
    Prison is designed to break ones spirit and destroy ones resolve. To do this the authorities attempt to exploit every weakness, demolish every initiative, negate all signs of individuality – all with the idea of stamping out that spark that makes each of us human and each of us who we are.
    – Nelson Mandela
    What prosperity must be in a state that makes it possible having one half of citizen for security staff and the other half imprisoned on public expenses?
    – Stanisław Jerzy Lec


    1. Francis, one word to you Bless You! I enjoyed every quote from famous men and women and sooo true! Thank you for reminding us what we all need to do. I will copy and save those quotes for myself and others! Bless You!


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