The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals delayed the execution of John William Hummel on Monday due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The execution was scheduled for Wednesday, but the court determined that “the execution should be stayed at the present time in light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address that emergency.”
In the motion to the court, Hummel’s attorney, Michael Mowla, claimed that if there are unexpected absences due to the novel coronavirus, “the execution could be botched in an unexpected and grotesque manner.”
Mowla went as far as to suggest that the execution could itself assist in spreading COVID-19. “Gathering all these people in one location presents a substantial risk of transmission of COVID-19/Coronavirus if anyone is infected.” Further, Texas delayed executions in the wake of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Harvey according to Mowla.
Hummel was convicted of the 2009 murder of his pregnant wife, father-in-law, and 5-year-old daughter.
The execution was scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, but is stayed for 60 days.
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