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EXTRA 55/93 - USA (Texas): death penalty: Curtis Harris

, Index number: AMR 51/051/1993

Curtis Harris, black, is scheduled to be executed on 1 July 1993. If carried out this would be the sixth execution of a juvenile offender in the USA since the death penalty was reinstated in the late 1970's, and the fourth in Texas under its present laws - contrary to international law and practice. Harris was convicted entirely on the testimony of an accomplice, and was tried and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. The trial venue had also been changed. No evidence was presented regarding Curtis Harris' upbringing or mental health, or that he has an IQ of only 77. An appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court (Johnson v Texas) as to whether the pre-1991 Texas capital sentencing statute was constitutional. The law was changed in September 1991.

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