Robert Solis, who killed trailblazing Texas sheriff’s deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, is sentenced to death for the crime. Solis was convicted for the 2012 killing of the 23-year veteran in Bastrop County.
(CNN reported in April, 2015 that Texas authorities, after hearing the evidence that would convict Solis, would recommend life in prison. The sentence was later reduced to a term of just over 23 years, Texas state law allows a life sentence for those convicted of killing a law enforcement officer.
And as to the execution itself, Texas law is a bit vague.
“A convict may not be executed for any offense committed prior to the prisoner’s admission, unless:
(a) the court determines that the sentence of death is unjust; or
(b) the court determines that there are not sufficient aggravating circumstances or any mitigating circumstances sufficiently substantial to call for leniency, and the court determines that there are no other penalties that will effectively protect the defendant’s rights.
“If a court does set aside the sentence of death, it shall require the state to execute the prisoner, either in accordance with this chapter or in compliance with a final judgment of conviction, or both, and shall certify the order of execution to the executive director of the Texas Department of Corrections.
“An order of execution setting aside the sentence of death shall be signed by the judge of the trial court.”
What about Texas law that states prisoners sentenced to life in prison don’t have the option of asking to be put to death?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an order on Friday that allowed death row inmates to ask to be put to death after a lethal injection is administered.
Gov. Abbott said that it was a “significant break” for Texas. The order was signed Monday night, on the opening day of the legislature. There is no indication that the move will be challenged in court.
“I have to believe we will get Texas to do the right thing with this,” said Texas assistant death-row warden Mark Jones, according to The Associated Press