HOUSTON (AP) _ Condemned inmate Derrick Sonnier received a June 3 execution date Wednesday, bringing to at least three the number of Texas death row prisoners to get an execution date following last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the lethal injection process.
State District Judge Michael Wilkinson set the date for Sonnier, 40, condemned for the 1991 slayings of Melody Flowers, 27, and her 2-year-old son Patrick at their apartment in the Houston suburb of Humble. Flowers had been stabbed, beaten with a hammer and strangled. Her child was stabbed eight times. Both victims were found floating in a bathtub.
Sonnier initially was scheduled to die in February. His execution date, however, was withdrawn by Harris County prosecutors because the Supreme Court's review of lethal injection procedures effectively halted all executions around the country.
He joins Charles Dean Hood, convicted of a double slaying in the Dallas suburb of Plano more than 18 years ago, and Larry Donnell Davis, condemned for a 1995 robbery-slaying in Amarillo, on the calendar for execution in Huntsville. Hood, 38, is set to die June 17. Davis, 40, is set for July 31.
Last year 26 convicted killers were put to death in Texas, the most of any state.
The last execution in the country was in Huntsville on Sept. 25, the same day the high court agreed to hear an appeal from two Kentucky death row inmates who contended the lethal injection process in that state, similar to the one used in Texas, was unconstitutionally cruel. Their appeal was turned down by the court last week in a 7-2 vote, clearing the way for executions to resume.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.