Newton's Attorneys Asking Perry to Stay Execution
by: Laurie Johnson, September 14, 2005 5:09:00 am
Frances Newton is scheduled for execution for the 1987 deaths of her husband and two children. Newton's defense attorneys believe it may have been a drug dealer who murdered them. Prosecutors say Newton killed them after purchasing life insurance policies three months earlier. Newton confessed to hiding a gun after the crimes were commited, that gun was later determined to be the murder weapon. University of Houston Law Professor and Texas Innocence Network Director David Dow is Newton's attorney. He says there is strong evidence that one or possibly even two other guns were found at the crime scene.
Dow says the evidence is based on testimony from an assistant district attorney. But Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal says that was a simple slip of the tongue and there was no second weapon.
Rosenthal says he is confident the state is executing the real killer. However, Dow Newton should receive another trial because her former trial attorney, Ron Mock, was incompetent and did not properly investigate the case.
Dow says for nearly 20 years Newton has maintained her innocence and he believes there are too many unanswered questions in the case to administer the death penalty. Rosenthal says courts have looked at this case over and over and the jury heard the correct evidence and arrived at a proper decision. Newton's execution is scheduled for 6p.m. this evening. If executed, she will become the third woman and first black woman to be executed since Texas reinstated the death penalty.