Offender Newton was granted a 30-day stay of execution by Governor Perry on 12-02-04..... Is it a woman thing? What
gives ? I say kill her today! stay tuned for updates...
Board recommends stay of execution
Victim's mom objects to executionBy ANDREW TILGHMAN
Carlos Chronicle file Frances Newton in a court appearance last summer.
Rick Perry should delay tonight's scheduled execution of a Harris County woman who was condemned for the murders of her husband
and two children, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended Tuesday.
In a rare move, the board voted 5-1 to recommend a reprieve for 39-year-old Frances Newton. Perry was still considering
the recommendation Tuesday evening, a spokeswoman said. If he does not grant a stay, the execution would be carried out after
6 p.m. today.
Newton's attorneys sought a 120-day delay to further examine her claims that she is innocent of the April 1987 murders
of her husband, Adrian Newton, and their children, Alton, 7, and Farrah Elaine, 21 months.
They want to retest the ballistics evidence initially tested by the Houston Police Department crime lab, which has faced
criticism in recent years for providing inaccurate scientific information in some criminal trials.
Newton's attorneys also want new tests on a dress she wore the night of the murders. Authorities said tests revealed chemical
evidence that Newton had fired a gun. But defense lawyers say the dress was touched by fertilizer, which could cause misleading
test results under the technology used at the time.
"I think the (parole) board recognized that the evidence against Frances Newton is thin and some additional steps could
be taken to conclusively demonstrate that she is innocent," said David Dow, a law professor at the University of Houston and
one of Newton's attorneys.
Prison officials transferred Newton on Tuesday from the Mountain View Unit near Gatesville, where eight other condemned
women are housed, to the Goree Unit near Huntsville. Executions are carried out at the Walls Unit in Huntsville.
Perry can grant one 30-day reprieve. Any further action, such as a commutation or pardon, would come only after another
recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles.