Texas executes Tracy Beatty – despite lack of clarity on appropriateness of death penalty
On Wednesday night in the U.S. state of Texas, 61-year-old Tracy Beatty was executed with a lethal injection, an overdose of pentobarbital.
He was sentenced to death for strangling his mother in 2003. While that fact is beyond question, the extent to which the death penalty was appropriate for Tracy Beatty is disputed.
In Texas, an aggravating circumstance must exist for a death sentence to be imposed. This includes killing a police officer or a young child, killing more than one person, or killing a person during the commission of another crime such as robbery or rape.
Beatty was found guilty of capital murder because prosecutors argued he killed his mother during a burglary and entered the home without her consent, even though he was living with his mother at the time.
According to testimony from the neighborhood, Beatty and his mother constantly argued with each other, and his mother repeatedly kicked him out the door and always let him back in.
In recent attempts to prevent his death, Beatty’s attorneys revealed that one of the jurors knew his mother and concealed that fact. They argued that this brought an unacceptable level of bias to his verdict and sentence.