A federal judge has turned down an appeal from a 34-year-old Texas prisoner set for execution for the 2004 fatal shooting of a San Antonio convenience store owner.
Attorneys for Christopher Young argued that his punishment set for Tuesday evening should be halted because the Texas parole board improperly rejected their request for clemency for Young because he is black. A white Texas inmate earlier this year avoided execution when the board recommended clemency.
Houston-based U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison says the case "dramatizes much of what is most troubling" about procedures for executions but courts have held that petitioners don't have a right to a reprieve and finding evidence to show discrimination has occurred "is well-nigh impossible."
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Young's attorneys say they'll appeal the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
His lawyers also have asked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to grant a one-time 30-day reprieve for Young.