Clemency for Bobby Ray Hopkins
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Justice For Bobby Ray Hopkins
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The case : on July the 31st 1993, two young white ladies (Sandy Marbut 18 years old and her cousin Jennifer Weston 19 years old) were found dead (stabbed) at their home, in Grandview (little Texas town).
On August the 4th 1993, Bobby Ray Hopkins (a 26 years old African-American) was arrested on unrelated charges.
After being incarcerated and interrogated for two weeks, Bobby finally made self-incriminating statements, during a four hour interview. This final interview was conducted by a childhood friend of Bobbys, who worked for a police agency in New-Mexico. This police officer, appearing as the first friendly face Bobby had seen since his arrest and the long ordeal of isolation and interrogation, was actually being used by the local police to gain Bobbys trust. The interview was being secretly tape-recorded by the local police. During this interview, Bobby was never assisted by an attorney.
Soon after, Bobby denied his statement, arguing that it was a COERCED CONFESSION. From then on, he never stopped claiming his innocence.
The manner in which Bobbys statement was obtained was not the only action taken during the police investigation that should be considered questionable in this case. It has been the issue most litigated, however.
Bobby has exhausted now all of his appeals :
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals both agree his constitutional rights have been severely violated by the police. Nevertheless, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S Supreme Court denied Bobbys right to a new trial. According to a ruling made by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the incriminating statement Bobby gave to police should be considered a coerced confession. However, the Court deemed this State misconduct to be harmless.
Bobby Ray Hopkins has now an EXECUTION DATE set for FEBRUARY 12TH 2004.
We urge the Board to spare his life.