Death Row

National Magazine Award Nominee |
August 12, 2014

The Witness

For more than a decade, Michelle Lyons’s job required her to watch condemned criminals be put to death. After 278 executions, she won't ever be the same.

The Daily Post |
October 8, 2013

What Running Out of Pentobarbital Means For Texas

According to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Associated Press, Texas is down to its last eight vials of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital—and the Houston-area "compounding pharmacy" that made them wants them back. What happens when the state runs out? …

Criminal Justice |
March 6, 2013

Reasonable Doubt: The Manuel Velez Case

UPDATED: A Brownsville construction worker named Manuel Velez was sent to death row in 2008 after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s baby. Five years later, new testimony from a number of forensic experts suggests that the medical evidence against Velez was deeply flawed. Now he may receive the…

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January 21, 2013

Texas Executes Tenth Man of 2012

Jonathan Green was put to death Wednesday for the 2000 murder of a 12-year-old girl, but his lawyers maintained until the end that their client was mentally ill and thus unsuitable for execution.

Letter From Midland |
January 20, 2013

Separated At Death

Ernest Willis spent seventeen years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. And he has a few things to say about the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 for a strangely similar crime that many experts believe he didn’t commit either.

Web Exclusive |
January 1, 2009

The Science of Murder

Someone killed Melissa Trotter and dumped her body in the Sam Houston National Forest. But according to six forensic experts, that someone was not Larry Swearingen.

News & Politics |
February 1, 1999

The Getaway

There’s something romantic about a jailbreak, even when the escapee is a cold-blooded killer on death row. That’s why our feelings about Martin Gurule were more than a little complicated.

Feature |
February 1, 1983

Charlie Brooks’ Last Words

Charlie Brooks was the first man to die by lethal injection, but everyone wondered whether he or his partner was the real murderer. In his last days, Brooks answered that, and other questions.