The longest serving death row inmate is scheduled for execution tonight in Texas. David Lee Powell was sentenced to death thirty-two years ago for the murder of an Austin police officer. Powell has served longer than any other Texas death row inmate and only one executed killer served more time on death row.
According to the Houston Chronicle, in May 1978, Officer Ralph Ablanedo pulled over a car driven by Powell's girlfriend because it had no rear license plate. A background check showed Powell, riding in the passenger seat, was wanted for theft and passing bad checks. Powell shot Ablanedo 10 times with a Soviet-made AK-47.
Powell was sentenced to death following three different trials, most recently in 1999. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his original conviction from 1978, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out his death sentence from a 1991 retrial.
Powell is hoping on a last minute reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court. All other state and federal appeals have been exhausted. There have been 12 executions carried out this year in Texas.
To read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7054385.html