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Death penalty opponents work to stop first Texas execution of black woman

[JURIST] Supporters of Frances Newton [TX AG press release], slated to become the first black woman executed in Texas since the state took over executions from county authorities in 1923, held protests Saturday while her attorneys fight a last-minute battle to stop her death. They have filed a request for clemency with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles [official website] and have asked a Texas court to stay the execution, scheduled for September 14. Newton was convicted of killing her husband and two children on April 7, 1987, to collect $100,000 in insurance. In December 2004, Texas Governor Rick Perry [official website] stopped Newton’s execution two hours before it was scheduled in order to probe deeper into questionable forensics evidence. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [advocacy website] and Amnesty International [advocacy website] are both working to stop Newton’s execution. Amnesty International claims that she was convicted on circumstantial evidence [AI press release] and did not have access to adequate legal representation. They also suggest potential flaws in the DNA evidence. Reuters has more.

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