Texas is set to carry out its fourth execution of 2014, Thursday night in Huntsville. It would be the 512th post-Furman Texas execution since 1982, and the 273rd execution under the administration of Gov. Rick Perry. Texas is responsible for more than 37% of the nation's post-Furman executions.
"Executing Youthful Offenders: The Doyle Case," is by Jordan Smith for the Austin Chronicle.
According to court records, Anthony Dewayne Doyle did not have a happy home life. His parents often fought; the uncles who hung around the family's home in Rowlett were heavy drinkers who roughed up their girlfriends. Doyle's one companion was his grandfather, with whom he shared a bedroom as a child. Indeed, Doyle was 11 and sleeping in the same bed with his grandfather the night the elder man passed away. Doyle's behavior changed after that, family testified at Doyle's 2003 trial, but he never received counseling. After that he found himself in trouble frequently, with several misdemeanor charges that eventually landed him in a Texas Youth Commission boot camp program alongside juvenile felons.
Two years after he was released from that program, and just three months after his 18th birthday, Doyle called Chaha Donuts, placed an order for delivery to his mother's home, and then beat to death the delivery driver, Hyun Cho, when she refused to give Doyle any money. He dumped the body in a neighbor's trash can and tried to clean the blood before taking off in Cho's car, according to court records.
There is no doubt that Doyle committed the crime – he left behind plenty of physical evidence and made a full, handwritten 10-page confession to police. What remains in doubt, according to court filings, is whether Doyle's culpability is mitigated by immaturity, "organic" brain damage, and other "serious emotional and psychological mental impairments," reads an appeal filed late last year with the U.S. Supreme Court by Doyle's attorney Lydia Brandt. At specific issue is whether Doyle, even though already 18 at the time of the brutal crime, should instead be treated as a juvenile under the law – a protection that would eliminate the possibility of a death penalty.
There have been 13 executions in American death penalty states this year; a total of 1,372 post-Furman execution since 1977.
According to TDCJ, Texas state district courts have set five additional execution dates.