Convited killer Landor joins smaller 'club'

April 13, 2010 7:54:48 AM PDT
Monday's verdict on Mabry Landor, III, may seem like an anomaly, with a Harris County jury coming back with a death sentence. Last week, ABC13 reported that fewer juries are agreeing to the death penalty. And it could be due to a change in the law.

Just a few years ago, records showed Harris County juries sentenced on average eight killers a year to death row. But, now that average is down to two.

"It's an experience I hope a lot of people don't have to go through," said Cindy Bradford, a death penalty juror.

Last week, ABC13 talked to Bradford. She was on the jury for cop killer Juan Quintero. In May 2008, he was convicted of killing Officer Rodney Johnson. Bradford and 11 others spared his life.

"One person said, 'How will you feel when that day comes when that man is executed?'" she said.

Monday's decision by jurors to give Mabry Landor the death penalty is the first one in 100 recent capital murder convictions in Harris County.

A change in Texas law in 2005 may have something to do with the shift -- juries can sentence a killer to life in prison without the chance of parole. So, experts say they may be less inclined to give the death penalty.

"Jurors are more skeptical of evidence now," said Kathryn Kase with the Texas Defenders Service. "The Innocence Project's work and the crime lab scandals across the state have taken their toll."

Five convicted killers have been executed in Texas so far in 2010. Two of the men who were executed received the death penalty for killing law enforcement officers.

Load Comments