A Jewish criminal on death row, who was a member of the so-called “Texas 7” gang, must undergo a new capital murder trial because the judge presiding over his case had an anti-Semitic view. The district judge said this on Monday.
Dallas District Court Judge Rare Maze violated Randy Halpin’s right to a fair trial by not forbidding his predecessor, former Judge Vickers Cunningham, to try Halpin’s bias. I found that I was doing this. She recommended that the Texas Criminal Appeals Court set aside Halpin’s sentence and the death sentence imposed by Cunningham.
I could not ask Cunningham for comment on Monday.
Halpin and six other prisoners escaped from prison in 2000. The group later robbed a sporting goods store in Irving, Texas, and shot and killed a concerned police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, during his flight.
The man was called the “Texas 7” gang of runaway prisoners. One member committed suicide before the group was arrested. Four were executed while Halpin and Patrick Murphy await execution.
A motion against Cunningham, who oversaw Halpin’s trial in 2003, reveals a lively belief in a 2018 Dallas Morning News article rewarding her children for their direct marriage. Happened after I did. The newspaper reported that Cunningham reaffirmed his credibility, but said he was not prejudiced.
According to an appeal filed in state court, the story prompted an investigation by Halpurin’s attorney, in which Cunningham accused Halpurin and some of his co-defendants using racial slurs and anti-Semitic language. I found that I was there. Cunningham also denied this.
The Texas Court of Appeals suspended Halpurin’s execution in 2019 and ordered him to be sent back to the Dallas County Courthouse, where he pleaded guilty, to consider Halpurin’s charges.
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“Texas 7” inmates sentenced to death should be tried again
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