Execution date set for Jewish death row inmate in Texas

Jewish prisoner who accused sentencing judge of anti-Semitism given date for execution.

Marcy Oster, JTA,

Prisoner captive jail bars
Prisoner captive jail bars
Thinkstock

An execution date has been set for a Jewish death row inmate in Texas who filed an appeal alleging that the judge in the case was anti-Semitic and racist.

Dallas County Judge Lela Mays on Wednesday approved an Oct. 10 execution date for Randy Halprin.

Halprin, 41, was part of the “Texas 7” group of prisoners who escaped from the John B. Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas, on Dec. 13, 2000; six were apprehended over a month later. One committed suicide.

They were convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a Texas police officer who responded to a robbery perpetrated by the prisoners. Four of the prisoners already have been executed.

Halprin said in the appeal filed in May that Judge Vickers Cunningham referred to him using anti-Semitic language and should have recused himself from his case. Cunningham sentenced Halprin to death in 2003.

“Mr. Halprin’s trial judge, who presided over the death-penalty trial, made critical decisions about what evidence the jury would hear, and sentenced Mr. Halprin to die, was biased against Mr. Halprin, referring to him as a “f****n’ Jew” and a “G*****n k**e,” Halprin’s attorney, Tivon Schardl, said in a statement.

“No execution can proceed until the courts have time to consider the important new evidence that bigotry infected Mr. Halprin’s legal process. Ultimately, the Constitution requires that Mr. Halprin must have a new trial and sentencing hearing, free of discrimination and bias.”

Before escaping as part of the “Texas 7,” Halprin was serving a 30-year sentence for physically abusing a 16-month old child.

Judge Cunningham later ran for Dallas County Commissioner, at which time it was revealed that he had promised rewards to his children if they married white Christians, and that he had a history of using racist epithets against minorities.




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