texas 7

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case of Texas 7’s Randy Halprin

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Brett Coomer/AP

The Supreme Court is declining to take up the case of a Texas death row inmate who argued he should get a new trial because the judge who presided over his case was biased against Jews.

The justices said they would not hear the case of Randy Halprin. He's one of the so-called Texas 7.

Halprin's claims of bias and that he should get a new trial are still under review by a Texas court. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution for Halprin last fall, who had been scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Oct. 10.

Lawyers for Halprin said an investigation found that Judge Vickers Cunningham, who presided over his trial, was anti-Semitic and frequently used racial slurs.

Halprin was serving a 30-year sentence for killing an infant when he escaped in 2000 with six other inmates who quickly became known as the Texas 7.

While trying to elude capture, the escapees killed Irving Police Officer Aubrey Hawkins on Christmas Eve. The 29-year-old officer responded to the robbery of an Irving sporting goods store when he was ambushed by the group, shot 11 times and run over. Trial evidence showed the escapees stole guns and ammunition from the store.

Six of the Texas 7 were captured and convicted after Hawkins' murder. Four have already been executed. One died by suicide instead of returning to prison.

The other surviving Texas 7 member, Patrick Henry Murphy Jr, was originally scheduled to be executed on March 28, 2019, but received a stay of execution after filing a complaint that Texas Department of Criminal Justice protocol did not allow for a spiritual advisor to be present if the advisor was not an employee of the TDCJ.

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