• Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

Texas, anti-Semitic judge: death sentence stopped

Byeditorial

Oct 13, 2021

A death sentence was blocked in Texas because the judge who wrote a Jewish defendant’s sentence was clearly anti-Semitic. Judge Lela Lawrence May ruled that her colleague Vickers Cunningham’s “unmistakable bias against Jews”, demonstrated by “chilling” evidence, was such that it could not be ignored. And he recommended repeating the trial of Randy Halprin, sentenced to death for a murder he claims to be innocent of. The decision in this regard now rests with the Texas Criminal Appeals Court. Doubts about Cunningham emerged in 2018, when he told in a video interview with the Dallas Morning news that he had opened a fund to financially reward children if they married a person of the same race and religion, as long as they were of the opposite sex. I consider it “a traditional family value” to marry a person of the same race, he stressed. The video alerted Stuart Blaugrund one of Halprin’s lawyers, sentenced to death in June 2003. Collected several testimonies about Cunningham’s blatant anti-Semitism, and thanks to a letter signed by 100 Texan Jewish lawyers, Blaugrund was able to stop Halprin’s execution six days before the scheduled date, October 10, 2019. The case was then returned to the Dallas District Court, which has now ruled in favor of a retrial. Halprin, who was serving 30 years in prison for injuring a child, escaped along with seven other inmates from a Texan prison in 2000. The group was accused of subsequently committing a series of crimes, including the murder of a police officer. Cunningham tried all seven of them, sentencing them to death. Many witnesses have now reported that the judge “believed that God had chosen him to preside over those trials.” And that he was particularly “proud” of the death sentences because among the accused there were “Jews and Hispanics”. Of the seven convicted, four have already been executed and one has committed suicide. Halprin, 44, and Patrick Murphy, 60, remain alive. It is possible, but not certain, that the story of the former could lead to the reopening of the latter’s case.