CHICAGO, June 28, 2004 – LAWFUEL – Absent 11th hour interventi…

CHICAGO, June 28, 2004 – LAWFUEL – Absent 11th hour intervention from the
United States Supreme Court or Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the State of Texas will
go forward with the execution of inmate Mauro Barraza tomorrow night in
Huntsville, Tex., despite the fact that the United States Supreme Court will
decide next term whether the execution of inmates like Mr. Barraza is

Jenner & Block Partner Scott T. Schutte, who represents Mr. Barraza, said
in a letter to Gov. Perry requesting a 30-day reprieve: “We respectfully
submit that it would be unconscionable for the State of Texas to proceed with
Mr. Barraza’s execution. The State of Texas will not be prejudiced by
delaying Mr. Barraza’s execution for a relatively short period of time so that
the State can be assured that it is not violating the United States

Meanwhile, Mr. Schutte and his Death Row client are hoping U.S. Supreme
Court Justice Antonin Scalia will step in and stay the state execution until
the full Court can address the issue later this year. Now 32 years of age,
Mr. Barraza was 17 when he committed the crime for which he has been sentenced
to death. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Roper
v. Simmons, in which the issue is whether it is constitutional to execute
persons for crimes they committed when they were 17 years of age.
Nevertheless, in February a trial court in Texas set Mr. Barraza’s execution
date for June 29, 2004. Mr. Barraza’s court-appointed counsel did not attend
the hearing, let alone object to the planned execution.
In March, Mr. Schutte and Jenner & Block Associate Shana Shifrin agreed to
a request by the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation
Project to represent Mr. Barraza in his efforts to stay his execution pending
the Supreme Court’s decision in Simmons. Assisting in these efforts was the
Texas Defender Service, a nonprofit law firm. On June 24, 2004, the Texas
Court of Criminal Appeals denied Jenner & Block’s Motion to Stay the Barraza
execution. Mr. Schutte and Ms. Shifrin then filed its pending Motion with the
Supreme Court Justice, which the State of Texas — through the office of the
Texas Attorney General — opposed.

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