Saturday, October 05, 2019

Trial Judge's Alleged Anti-Jewish Bias Leads To Stay of Execution

In Ex parte Halprin, (TX Ct. Crim. App., Oct. 4, 2019), the Texas' Court of Criminal Appeals stayed the execution of a Jewish inmate who claims that his trial judge was biased against him. Petitioner claims that the judge regularly used racist language and antisemitic slurs. Plaintiff's Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus contends:
The ... claim presents newly uncovered evidence that trial judge Vickers Cunningham referred to Mr. Halprin as a “goddamn kike” and “fuckin’ Jew,” and to his Latino co-defendants as “wetbacks,” when the judge bragged about his role in convicting and sentencing to death the Jewish and Latino members of the Texas 7. The evidence of Judge Cunningham’s bias comes primarily from first-hand accounts of disinterested witnesses to his prejudiced statements... and Judge Cunningham’s lifelong association with racist and anti-Semitic role models....
The court remanded the case for determination if petitioner's due process and free exercise rights were violated. Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.