Karla Faye Tucker

Executed February 3, 1998 by Lethal Injection in Texas

5th murderer executed in U.S. in 1998
437th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd female murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Texas in 1998
145th murderer executed in Texas since 1976
1st female murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Lethal Injection
Karla Faye Tucker

W / F / 23 - 38

Jerry Lynn Dean
W / M / 27
Deborah Thomton
W / F / 32
Pickax (mattock)

Between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. on June 13, 1983, Tucker, Danny Garrett, and James Leibrant left Tucker's residence after some "partying." Tucker told accomplice Leibrant she wanted to go over to Jerry Lynn Dean's apartment to collect some money and intimidate him a little. Tucker secretly took the keys from Dean's wife, Shawn. Two weeks before, Tucker had talked about "offing" Dean. Tucker later related that when she and Garrett entered the apartment bedroom, she put a pickax to Dean's head and Dean began begging for his life. Tucker struck him with the pickax 28 times, and expressed that every time she struck Dean she received sexual gratification. Deborah Thornton was hiding under some sheets in the bedroom, and because the lights were on and Dean had said Tucker's name several times, Tucker and Garrett decided to kill her as well. Leibrant testified that, after he was called into the apartment by Garrett, he heard a gurgling noise in the bedroom, walked back to the bedroom, and witnessed Tucker pull the pickax out of a body, smile, and hit it again. Leibrant then left the scene, but later helped Garrett dispose of Dean's car later that evening. The bodies were discovered by a co-worker who came to check up on Dean when he did not show up for work that morning. The pickax was found lodged in the chest of Deborah Thornton.

Tucker's execution created a media frenzy which included nightly reports from Geraldo, an interview on CNN Larry King Live, and live nationwide coverage from the prison at her execution. Her outgoing personality and religious conversion on death row even prompted televangelist Pat Robertson to request a commutation. She was the first woman to be executed in Texas since 1863, and only the second woman to be executed in the United States since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.

Tucker v. State, 771 S.W.2d 523 (Tex.Cr.App. 1988) (Direct Appeal).

Final / Special Meal:

Last Words:
“ Yes sir, I would like to say to all of you — the Thornton family and Jerry Dean’s family — that I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this. Baby, I love you. Ron, give Peggy a hug for me. Everybody has been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. Warden Baggett, thank all of you so much. You have been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you. ”

Internet Sources:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders (Karla Tucker)

Texas Attorney General Press Release


Texas Attorney General Dan Morales offers the following information on Karla Faye Tucker, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 3, 1998:

The state's evidence at the guilt and innocence phase established that Tucker murdered Jerry Lynn Dean during the commission of the offense of burglary of a habitation. The evidence revealed the following:

Between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. on June 13, 1983, Tucker, Danny Garrett, and James Leibrant left Tucker's residence after some "partying" which included the ingestion of pills, marijuana, speed, and alcohol. Tucker was "pretty well on her way" (intoxicated due to the use of alcohol and drugs), but could walk, talk, and carry on a conversation. Tucker told accomplice Leibrant she wanted to go over to Jerry Lynn Dean's apartment to collect some money and intimidate him a little. They talked about taking some things if Dean wouldn't pay the money, specifically a motorcycle, a TV, and a stereo. Tucker got the keys to the apartment from Dean's wife, Shawn, secretly taking them but convincing Shawn that they were lost. Tucker had also talked about "offing" Dean about two weeks before the offense.

Tucker later related to her sister Kari Dean Garrett [hereinafter referred to as Kari] that when she and Garrett entered the apartment bedroom, she put a pickax to Dean's head and "told him not to move, m______ucker, or you're dead." Dean began begging for his life, and Tucker started to strike him with the pickax. Tucker expressed that every time she struck Dean she received sexual gratification. There was a girl hiding under some sheets in the bedroom, and because the lights were on and Dean had said Tucker's name several times, Tucker and Garrett decided to kill her as well. Leibrant testified that, after he was called into the apartment by Garrett, he heard a gurgling noise in the bedroom, walked back to the bedroom, and witnessed Tucker pull the pickax out of a body, smile, and hit it again. Leibrant then left the scene and walked for about an hour before he called Ronnie Burrell to come pick him up. Both Garrett and Tucker were angry with him for leaving the scene, but to make amends he helped Garrett dispose of Dean's El Camino later that evening. Leibrant was not offered any deals for his accomplice testimony except that the judge hearing his cases would be made aware of his cooperation.

The morning after the incident, Tucker showed up at the home of Douglas McAndrew Garrett, (hereinafter referred to as Doug), Garrett's brother, at approximately 6:30 a.m. in a blue El Camino. After unloading a motorcycle frame from the back of the El Camino, she said, "We offed Jerry Dean last night." She told him that Garrett had hit him with a hammer but she had picked him, receiving sexual gratification with every stroke. She handed him Dean's wallet which Doug immediately burned in an ashtray. Although Doug insisted that they remove the motorcycle parts from his garage at that time, he later allowed his brother to store some of the parts with him. He disposed of the parts before going to the police, but led the police to them at a later date. Doug subsequently called J.C. Mosier, a family friend who was a detective in the homicide division, and gave him Leibrant's name. Doug later assisted the police in obtaining a taped conversation of Tucker and Garrett discussing the murders.

The bodies were discovered by a co-worker of Dean's, Gregory Scott Traver, the morning of June 13 after Dean did not arrive to drive Traver to work. Traver found Dean's body in the spare bedroom along with the body of a girl with a pickax "in her heart." Traver also noticed that Dean's motorcycle was missing and the television had been moved. On the evening of the June 13, Tucker and Garrett were watching television when the news came on with a story about the murders. Tucker and Garrett laughed and giggled and said they were famous. Leibrant was called into the house so he could watch the news report as well.

Examination of the bodies revealed that Dean had been struck in the head and had several stab wounds. There were a total of 28 stab wounds, 20 of which could have been fatal, along with the fatal skull fracture. Dean's female companion, Deborah Ruth Thorton, also died from multiple stab wounds to the chest and stab wounds and blunt trauma to the back. A pickax like the one recovered at the scene could have caused the wounds that killed both of the decedents.


Tucker was indicted in Harris County, Texas, for the murder of Jerry Lynn Dean, while in the course of committing and attempting to commit robbery. After Tucker entered a plea of not guilty in the 180th District Court, the jury found her guilty of capital murder on April 19, 1984. On April 25, after a separate hearing on the issue of punishment, the jury answered affirmatively the special issues submitted pursuant to the former provisions of Article 37.071 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (repealed effective September 1, 1991). In accordance with state law, the trial court sentenced Tucker to death by lethal injection. On June 29, the 180th District Court overruled Tucker's motion for a new trial. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence upon direct appeal. Tucker v. State, 771 S.W.2d 523 (Tex.Crim.App. 1988). Tucker's motion for rehearing was denied on January 11, 1989, but the Court of Criminal Appeals stayed issuance of the mandate until April 11, 1989. Tucker's petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court was denied along with her application for stay of mandate on June 26, 1989. The mandate of the Court of Criminal Appeals was issued on July 6, 1989.

Tucker filed an application for state habeas relief on December 15, 1989, and she filed an amended petition on January 24, 1992. On April 29, 1992, the convicting court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law, and on May 29, 1992, it set Tucker's execution date for June 30, 1992. The Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution on June 22, 1992, pending an evidentiary hearing on three of Tucker's claims. On January 27, 1995, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief based on the findings and conclusions of the trial court, which it found to be supported by the record. Ex parte Tucker, Application no. 21,159-01 (Tex.Crim.App. Jan. 27, 1995).

Tucker's original federal habeas petition was filed on August 1, 1995, and she was given 60 days in which to file an amended petition. No amended petition was filed and the Director responded to the original habeas petition on February 5, 1996, with a motion for summary judgment and answer with brief in support thereof. Tucker filed a traverse and opposition to summary judgment on April 15, 1996. On July 31, 1996, the district court granted the Director's motion for summary judgment and entered its final order denying relief. Tucker's motion to amend judgment was denied on December 20, 1996. On January 17, Tucker filed a notice of appeal and application for a certificate of probable cause (CPC), which was denied by the district court on January 24, 1997.

Tucker filed an application for certificate of appealability and supporting memorandum on March 17, 1997. On June 3, 1997, without requiring a response from the state, the court of appeals issued an opinion order denying the application. This initial opinion, however, relied in part on the amended habeas standards effected by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), and the Court in Lindh v. Murphy, 117 S.Ct. 2059 (1997), subsequently concluded that the amended standards would not apply to cases such as Tucker's that were pending at the time of the AEDPA's enactment. As a consequence, the court of appeals treated Tucker's suggestion for rehearing en banc as a petition for panel rehearing, withdrew its prior opinion, and issued an opinion denying a certificate of "appealability" or CPC under the pre-AEDPA standards. Tucker v. Scott, 115 F.3d at 278. The Court denied certiorari on December 8, 1997. Tucker v. Johnson, 118 S.Ct. 605 (1997).

On December 18, 1997, the convicting court scheduled Tucker's execution for February 3, 1998. On January 20, 1998, Tucker filed a successive state writ application and request for stay of execution in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the application as an abuse of the writ pursuant to Article 11.071 § 5 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Tucker's petition for writ of certiorari, filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on January 29, 1998, was denied by the court on February 3, 1998. Tucker's request for clemency was filed with the Board of Pardons and Paroles on January 22, 1998, and was denied on February 2, 1998. Also on February 2, 1998, Tucker filed a 21 U.S.C. §1983 action and request for stay of execution in federal district court and a motion for leave to file a successive federal habeas petition in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The request for stay was denied in the federal district court case, and the 5th Circuit action was also denied. On February 3, 1998, Tucker filed a third writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is still pending.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY - Tucker had no prior convictions. However, the state did present evidence at the punishment phase concerning Tucker's prior violent acts, which included a previous altercation with Dean during which she punched him in the face while he had glasses on, forcing him to go to the hospital to have glass removed from his eye. Tucker also admitted a history of drug use and prostitution.

DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL - Evidence indicated that Tucker had ingested various drugs and alcohol immediately prior to commission of the instant offense.

Houston Chronicle

"Tucker Dies After Apologizing; Despite Legal Blitz, Woman Executed for Pickax Slayings," by Kathy Walt. (February 3, 1998).

HUNTSVILLE -- Karla Faye Tucker, the 38-year-old pickax murderer who charmed television audiences worldwide with her coquettish smile and talk of Jesus, was executed Tuesday despite an all-out legal blitz to spare her life. Apologizing to the family members of her victims, Tucker smiled and told her friends and relatives, "I love all of you very much. I'm going to be face to face with Jesus now." With a needle of solution in each arm, she gasped twice slightly as the lethal drugs took effect, then she groaned. "I love you, Karla," her sister, Kari Tucker Weeks, cried out.

Tucker, who confessed her guilt in the slayings of a man and woman in Houston 15 years ago, was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m., some eight minutes after the drugs began flowing through her veins. She was the first woman to be executed in Texas since 1863 and only the second nationally since 1984. She also was the first Texas prisoner to be executed this year. Tucker went to her death in a frenzy of media coverage, with an estimated 200 reporters from around the world posted outside the state prison system's Walls Unit in downtown Huntsville. A few hundred capital punishment abolitionists stood vigil in protest while death penalty advocates sparred verbally with them. It was in the final months leading up to her death that Tucker achieved the fame she once told her ex-husband was her destiny. "She always said that someday she would be famous," Stephen Griffith told the Houston Chronicle on Monday. Griffith, who was married to Tucker for six years, did not attend her execution. Although Tucker had pleaded to Gov. George W. Bush and the state Board of Pardons and Paroles for mercy, she had also maintained that her gender should not be an issue in deciding clemency. She said she had become a born-again Christian shortly after her arrest in 1983.

Among those witnessing her death was Richard "Tony" Thornton, the husband of victim Deborah Thornton, who had been angrily outspoken about his desire to see Tucker executed. "Make no mistake, this is not Karla Faye Tucker's day," he said prior to the execution. "This is Deborah Ruth Davis Thornton's day." He was accompanied in the witness room to the execution chamber by his daughter, Katheryn Thornton, and William Joseph Davis, Deborah Thornton's son from a previous marriage. State prison officials said they were not contacted by any relatives of Jerry Lynn Dean, Tucker's other victim, so no witnesses representing his family were present. "Here she comes, baby doll. She's all yours," Thornton said as Tucker's injection began. "The world's a better place."

Sitting in a wheelchair, the disabled Thornton was at eye level with Tucker, lying strapped to the gurney. At one point, Thornton referred to Tucker's current husband, a prison minister and car dealer, and remarked, "So now Dana Brown gets to write his book." Brown was among Tucker's personal witnesses, along with her sister, Kari Weeks; her lead attorney George "Mac" Secrest of Houston; friend Jackie Oncken, wife of Henry Oncken who had been one of Tucker's court-appointed attorneys before later becoming a U.S. attorney in Houston; and Ronald Carlson, the brother of Deborah Thornton, who had been outspoken in opposing Tucker's execution because of her purported religious conversion. Brown, who married Tucker three years ago, said he had not decided where she will be buried. Her body was taken to an undisclosed funeral home. "Her gain today was our loss," he said after her death, "someone that literally reached thousands of people for Jesus Christ and probably will continue through her testimony. Even though she cried out for forgiveness, God gave her just what she needed. That was love. "We've all made mistakes in our lives. Who are we to say when a person is past redemption? And that's what we're saying when we kill people, human beings."

The final roadblocks to Tucker's execution were cleared about 6:20 p.m. when Bush rejected her plea for a 30-day delay. His decision was not unexpected. "Karla Faye Tucker has acknowledged she is guilty of a horrible crime. She was convicted and sentenced by a jury of her peers," Bush said, reading a statement at the Capitol. "The role of the state is to enforce our laws and to make sure all individuals are treated fairly under those laws. The courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have reviewed the legal issues in this case, and therefore, I will not grant a 30-day delay. "May God bless Karla Faye Tucker and may God bless her victims and their families." Earlier in the day, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected three challenges to Tucker's death sentence under criminal and federal civil rights laws. There was no dissent and no comment by the justices. In addition, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans turned away her attorneys' efforts to start another round of federal challenges. State courts also rejected her contention that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles violated the state's Open Meetings Act by not holding a public hearing or public vote in her clemency appeal.

Portrayed by some as the prodigal daughter who finally found peace and redemption in a Harris County Jail cell shortly after her arrest, Tucker and her lawyers for the past several weeks waged a massive legal and international public relations appeal for clemency. Long a self-admitted ham who had always enjoyed mugging for a camera -- even during her wild days as a drug-abusing, motorcycle-riding, hot-headed prostitute -- Tucker, her crime and her punishment have become the conundrum in the debate over capital punishment.

While her crime still ranks as one of the grisliest in Houston history, her supporters insisted that her Christian rebirth and her efforts to reach beyond her barred prison cell to warn youngsters of the dangers of her former lifestyle were proof she was no longer a danger to society. But those who insisted she should die have maintained that no matter the sometimes-angelic smiling face and twinkling eyes, no amount of changed personality could overcome the horrific facts of her crime.

Tucker and her then-lover Daniel Garrett were condemned by a Houston jury in 1984 for the June 1983 slaying of Dean, a 27-year-old former cable installer. Dean was hacked more than 20 times with one of his own tools -- a 3-foot-long pickax -- as he lay sleeping in his northeast Houston apartment. The motive, Tucker later explained, was to settle a grudge she had against Dean for once parking his leaking motorcycle in her living room and for destroying the only picture she had of herself with her mother. Also killed was Deborah Thornton, 32, an office worker who had fought with her husband and stormed off, only to meet Dean at a party and go home with him. She was lying in bed with Dean when Tucker and Garrett showed up and began their attack. Thornton was hacked more than 20 times, the pickax left embedded in her chest, but neither Dean nor Garrett was ever tried specifically in Thornton's death. Tucker, who was a 23-year-old divorcee, would later claim that she experienced sexual pleasure every time she plunged the heavy ax into her victims.

Garrett, 37, also was sentenced to die for the crime, but he died of liver disease in 1993 while awaiting retrial in connection with Dean's death. Tucker testified against Garrett at his trial, and after she did so, Harris County authorities dropped the second murder charge against her in connection with Thornton's slaying.

Although she pleaded not guilty, once she was convicted, she never again denied the murders, which she said occurred after a weekend of bingeing on drugs and alcohol. Although she claimed her mother introduced her to drugs and urged her into prostitution, she had said, at least in recent weeks, that she no longer blames her mother. Indeed, in her letter pleading to Bush to spare her life, she said, "Justice and law demand my life for the two innocent lives I brutally murdered that night." "If my execution is the only thing, the final act that can fulfill the demand for restitution and justice," she wrote, "then I accept that."


"Texas Executes Tucker," by Rebecca Leung. (February 3, 1998)

Karla Faye Tucker was executed by lethal injection tonight, gasping and coughing twice before she was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m. Before she was executed, she smiled, asked forgiveness from her victim’s husband and thanked her family, saying “I love you all very much.” It took her eight minutes to die.

Gov. George W. Bush refused to grant Tucker a one-time temporary reprieve, something he has also not done for the 59 men executed during his three years in office. “Like many touched by this case, I have sought guidance through prayer. I have concluded judgment about the heart and soul of an individual on death row are best left to a higher authority,” Bush said. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 432 people have been executed nationwide—Tucker is the second woman to be put to death since then.

Case Attracted Worldwide Following

Hundreds gathered outside the prison to protest the execution, carrying signs reading “Execution Is Not the Solution” and “I Oppose the Death Penalty.” Death penalty supporters also showed up, cheering when word came that the execution would proceed. “Karla Faye Tucker will die today,” said Richard Thornton, the husband of one of the victims. “My family and I are very happy about that.” When the news reached the crowd that Tucker had been executed, a cheer rose from death penalty advocates as some sang “Na Na Na Na...Say Goodbye.” Lisa Jackson, who opposes the death penalty and traveled from Michigan, was disheartened by the boisterous reaction. “I think God is sovereign,” she said. “He gives life and he takes life.” The Supreme Court turned down a stay of execution this afternoon, and the Texas parole board also rejected efforts to save Tucker, whose clemency request raised hard questions about the treatment of women and men in the justice system.

First Female Execution Since 1863

Tucker was flown Monday from the female death row at a prison in Gatesville to Huntsville, 80 miles north of Houston, where the state’s executions are carried out. The Texas Board of Pardons and Parole was lobbied by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, Amnesty International and even the pope, who wanted to give her a life sentence without parole. The board unanimously rejected 16 similar requests last year. Texas, which is responsible for about a third of the executions nationwide, put to death a record 37 death row inmates in 1997. But the state hasn’t executed a woman since the Civil War, when Chipita Rodriguez was hanged for killing a horse trader.

Strange Bedfellows Rally to Her Cause

In 1983, Tucker and her boyfriend, Daniel Ryan Garrett, plunged a pickax at least 20 times into the bodies of Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton. Tucker was taped saying the killings enthralled her to the point of sexual ecstasy. Tucker never claimed to be innocent, but said she should be spared the death penalty because she embraced Christianity and was content to spend her life in prison doing God’s work. “Certainly you can’t say that brutally murdering two people is good. It’s not,” said Tucker to ABCNEWS’ Dean Reynolds. “But afterwards, what came from that in me was good.”

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and usually a supporter of the death penalty, said the 38-year-old former teenage prostitute, drug user and rock band groupie should be spared to continue preaching God’s word to others in prison. His television program, The 700 Club, broadcast Tucker’s last prison-cell interview today. “There should always be a place for mercy,” said Tucker in her final interview on The 700 Club. “Life is precious, and if we believe life is precious in abortion, or in mercy killing, shouldn’t we believe life is precious in the death penalty?” Pope John Paul appealed for a “humanitarian gesture,” as he has at least a half dozen times for other inmates on death row in America. Her cause also attracted support from around the world, with appeals for clemency from the United Nations and the European Parliament.

A Plea for Mercy

Dismissed as an “aberration of the true female offender” by women’s rights organizations such as the National Center for Women in Prison, Tucker has nevertheless become a potent symbol of how the death penalty is applied across gender lines. But given the recent history of the Texas parole board, even a single vote from the 18-member panel in favor of clemency for a condemned murderer would be unusual. According to parole board chairman Victor Rodriguez, the board voted 16-0 against commutation in Tucker’s case. “There is no question as to their vote.…I myself have no quarrel with the decision to deny Karla Faye Tucker’s request on all fronts this morning,” Rodriguez told a packed news conference in Texas on Monday.

Gender Brought More Attention

Interviews with Tucker have been broadcast on television nationwide, bringing much attention to her plea for mercy. During the 12 months ending June 30, 1997, the number of women under the jurisdiction of state and federal prison authorities grew from 73,565 to 78,067. Women accounted for 6.4 percent of all prisoners nationwide. “Her gender has made this case more prominent, more closely examined. It has made her more personal, more of a human being to the public,” said Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based advocacy group. “Thinking of this person as a flesh-and-blood human being, a face, a person, has given us reasons why we should think twice of executing her.” However, some say that if Tucker were a man instead of a woman, she would never get such sympathy. “For years, women’s groups have been screaming equal rights, so if you do the crime, you deserve equal punishment,” said Janice Sager, founder of Texans for Equal Justice, a Houston-based victims support group that held a memorial service outside the prison gates. “She should be accountable. It doesn’t matter if she is a woman. Her victims won’t get a second chance.”

Equal Punishment for Equal Crime

Similar claims of conversions by male prisoners, however, have often been disregarded as a right to clemency. “There have been other men who have also had very sincere religious experiences, and that has not availed them anything when it came time to carry out the sentence,” said Lynn Hecht Schafran, a lawyer with the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. “You can’t just do it because she is a woman.”

But David Dow, professor of law at the University of Houston, says that race and gender are important factors in Tucker’s case. “Of the people who have been executed since 1982, half have found religion, half are either black or Hispanic, and most of them are men. But most of them don’t have the advantage of being physically attractive or articulate as she is, which hurts their case, ” said Dow, who has written on Tucker and the death penalty. “Tucker’s supporters made an exception for her because they saw her as a human being. The question we should be asking ourselves is why so many people saw Tucker’s humanity but refuse to see it in so many others.” (The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Houston Chronicle

"Execution May Haunt Texas; Tucker Case Llikely to Bring Unprecedented Scrutiny," by Kathy Walt.

December 14, 1997 - Conjure the image: An attractive, 38-year-old woman is strapped to a gurney in Texas' execution chamber, her dark, shoulder-length curls splayed across the antiseptic white sheet that covers the hard, cold deathbed. Her charcoal-colored eyes are transfixed ethereally while she utters her final entreaty to the God who she says miraculously transformed her in jail. As a lethal cocktail pumps through her veins, she may involuntarily arch upward -- straining against the leather straps -- and gasp or cough a couple of times before her final breath is expelled in a matter of seconds.

That, critics contend, is an image that will haunt Texans if Karla Faye Tucker, a condemned killer from Houston, is executed early next year.

Contrast that mental portrait of Tucker with the one that state's attorneys, victims' rights groups and others say should be replayed in people's minds: A wild-eyed, 23-year-old prostitute -- after a weekend orgy of methadone, heroin, Dilaudid, Valium, Placidyls, Somas, Wygesics, Percodan, Mandrax, marijuana, rum and tequila -- smiles maniacally at 27-year-old Jerry Lynn Dean. It ticked her off that he once parked his oil-leaking motorcycle in her living room. She takes her first swing with a pickax. Flesh tears. Blood spurts. Bones crack as the 3-foot-long tool thuds first against Dean and later against his companion, 32-year-old Deborah Thornton. By the time the screams end, Tucker and her accomplice will have hacked their victims more than 20 times. The June 1983 murder was one of the grisliest in Houston history, and Tucker could well become the first woman to be executed in Texas since the 1860s. Her accomplice, Daniel Ryan Garrett, also was sentenced to die for his part in the crime. His case was sent back for retrial on appeal, but he died of liver disease in 1993 while waiting for a new trial, still behind bars.

In a state with the most active execution chamber in the nation -- 37 death sentences have been carried out this year alone and 144 since 1982 -- Tucker's case is likely to bring unprecedented scrutiny on Texas and, at least temporarily, refuel the debate over capital punishment. Already, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has been besieged by requests from media around the world wanting to interview the woman who once bragged to her sister that she was sexually gratified each time she axed her victims.

Death penalty opponents, religious leaders and thousands of other people -- mostly outside Texas -- are expected to mount an intense campaign in the coming weeks to try to persuade Gov. George W. Bush to commute Tucker's sentence to life imprisonment. Democrat Garry Mauro -- who is challenging Bush's re-election bid -- said he's glad he does not have to face the issue. "Watching Governor Bush wrestle with that decision, that's the only thing I can think of right now, the only reason I can think of right now that I'm glad I'm not governor," Mauro said. "I do not know what I would do. It's a tough issue. I wish him well on coming to a resolution on it."

Televangelist Pat Robertson told 60 Minutes in a recent interview that Tucker has his support and that if Bush "lets this sweet woman of God die, he's a man who shows no mercy." But that sentiment is not necessarily shared by conservative Christians in Texas. Texas Christian Coalition President Dick Weinhold said he not only personally disagrees with Robertson but knows of no organized effort to spare Tucker's life. "This case has two main themes," Weinhold said. "One is compassion, and one is consequences. "I have a lot of compassion for Karla Faye Tucker. She seems to have strong testimony. Her salvation and conversion seem to be ... very genuine. And her life seems to really have undergone a transformation. So I'm delighted. That is great. "The consequences are that she committed a heinous act. There were two individuals that were murdered. The consequences of her crime call for her death. I don't believe the compassion side should overrule the consequences in this case." "As a Christian, I'm always excited when other people come to Christ, whether it's in a jailhouse or on Wall Street. But I think there's still consequences for our actions.

Dudley Sharp of the Houston-based victims' rights group Justice for All said he expects "religious leaders from all over the world -- not just the pope -- will be putting pressure on the governor" to spare Tucker's life.

For clues about how the coming weeks might play in Texas, rewind to North Carolina, 1984. It was there that "Death Row Granny" Margie Velma Barfield, a born-again Christian who was posthumously praised by Billy Graham for her impact on other prisoners, became the first woman to be put to death in the modern era of the capital punishment. The portly, bespectacled 52-year-old private nurse and former Sunday school teacher was convicted of lacing her boyfriend's food with rat poison. She later admitted to poisoning three others, including her mother. Her case also became a last-minute political issue in a tough U.S. Senate election in which liberal Democrat Gov. Jim Hunt challenged Republican incumbent Sen. Jesse Helms.

Political analysts said Hunt was doomed to be hurt politically regardless of what he did. Had he commuted Barfield's sentence, he risked alienating his conservative pro-death penalty constituency. Some analysts said at the time that his refusal to show compassion toward the woman may have persuaded liberal, anti-death penalty voters to stay away from the polls. Joe Freeman Britt, the former prosecutor who sent Barfield to death row, remembers the pressure that mounted in North Carolina. "There were all these Velma Barfield support groups that grew up all around the nation, all over North Carolina, European countries -- England, France, Finland," Britt recalled. "Everybody involved in the case got tons of letters every day about it from all over the world. That then generated a certain political pressure in the case."

But unlike Tucker's jailhouse conversion, Britt said, Barfield had always professed to being a God-fearing, church-going woman. He said Barfield bolstered her image as a devout Christian by asking her employers -- the families who hired her to care for ailing, elderly relatives whom she later poisoned -- for Wednesday nights and Sundays off so she could go to church. Once imprisoned she, too, began leading Bible studies and counseling troubled female felons. She also uttered a deathbed apology. The image the media portrayed most often was that of a grandmother kneeling in prayer in prison, Britt added, and some of the victims' relatives had a difficult time believing she was capable of the crimes. Britt, however, said he was unfazed by arguments that Barfield should not be executed because of her Christianity -- a claim of which he was skeptical. "I probably brought more people to the Lord than Billy Graham," he said of his work as a prosecutor. "I mean when they go to prison, they all find the Lord ... I hope it's true. I hope they do that. And if (Tucker has) had this experience, that's wonderful. It prepares her better for the judgment under the law."

Although death penalty opponents had predicted a public outrage if North Carolina proceeded with the execution of Barfield, Britt said that never materialized. "I think the biggest flap came from other parts of the country and particularly overseas ... ," he said. One key difference between Tucker's and Barfield's cases is the commutation process. While North Carolina law allows its governor wide discretion in determining whether and when to pardon felons or reduce their sentences, the Texas Constitution allows a governor to take such action only if the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles first recommends it. And even if the board does, the governor may still reject a commutation. Additionally, the state constitution allows the governor to grant a one-time, 30-day delay in an execution. Bush has never granted a 30-day reprieve, but his predecessor, Democrat Ann Richards, did so twice.

Tucker has not yet filed a petition for a reprieve or commutation with the parole board, but her attorney said he plans to ask the governor to commute her sentence. A Jan. 30 execution date has informally been targeted, attorney George "Mac" Secrest of Houston, said he plans to ask Bush to commute his client's sentence.

In interviews with the Chronicle last week, several of the 18 parole board members indicate Tucker will have a tough time convincing them that her death sentence should not be carried out. "It is definitely an uphill challenge," said board member Gerald Garrett, who works in the board's Gatesville office. Any pleas Tucker might make based on her turning her life over to God apparently will not carry much weight with some parole board members. Male convicts have raised the issue before and been rejected. "Religious conversion is not a factor in anything we do," said Victor Rodriguez, board chairman. "I don't expect it to be a factor in this case either."


"Karla Faye Tucker: Why So Many Want to Save Her," by S.C. Gwynne Austin. (January 19, 1998)

Karla Faye Tucker is the nicest woman on death row. She is so nice, in fact, and so well liked by people who know her that it is virtually impossible to look at this attractive, sweet-natured, born-again Christian and imagine the gruesome crime to which she confessed in Houston, Texas, on June 13, 1983. Back then she was a drug-addicted prostitute who, during a weekend orgy with her boyfriend, had consumed an astonishing quantity of heroin, Valium, speed, percodan, mandrax, marijuana, dilaudid, methadone, tequila and rum. The two then took a pickax and hacked to death Jerry Lynn Dean, 27, her ex-lover, and Deborah Thornton, 32, his companion of the moment, while they slept. Tucker, who left the pickax embedded in Thornton's chest, boasted at her trial that she had experienced an orgasm with each swing of the ax.

She was convicted in 1984 and sentenced to death. Fourteen years later, in the state with the busiest execution chamber in the land, Tucker now finds herself next in line to die. Barring a last-minute delay or commutation, on Feb. 3 she will be strapped to a gurney in Huntsville, Texas, and given a lethal injection that will stop her heart. If that happens, she will become the first woman executed in Texas since Chipita Rodriguez was hanged in 1863 for killing a horse trader--and the first woman in the U.S. since Velma ("Death Row Granny") Barfield was put to death in North Carolina in 1984 for poisoning her boyfriend.

There is no doubt that Tucker is guilty. She says so herself. What makes her case striking is not just her gender but also her apparently profound conversion to Christianity. The latter has prompted an unlikely cohort of supporters to come to her defense at the 11th hour, including Deborah Thornton's brother and Jerry Lynn Dean's sister, the homicide detective who put her on death row, several former prosecutors, televangelist Pat Robertson and thousands of citizens. Her staunchest supporter is Dana Brown, the prison chaplain she met and married two years ago--a relationship that has never been consummated, even by a kiss, because death-row inmates are not allowed contact with visitors. Says Tucker's attorney, George ("Mac") Secrest: "If ever there was a case for commutation, this is the one."

Skeptics respond that jailhouse conversions are both commonplace and not relevant in deciding who receives a pardon. And in spite of efforts to save her, it seems unlikely that either the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles or Governor George W. Bush, who must concur for a sentence to be commuted, will block her execution. Bush, a law-and-order Republican facing a re-election campaign this year, would seem to gain little politically by such a move. Moreover, there simply are not the requisite legal questions or doubts about her guilt that might prompt commutation. Pardon has never been given to anyone in Texas based on religious conversion.

None of which will make it any easier to watch the pleasant, earnestly friendly Tucker become the 145th person killed since Texas resumed the death penalty in 1982. She has said repeatedly in interviews that she is "far removed" from the person who committed the crime. But she is the person almost certain to die for it.

Houston Chronicle

"Two New Stamps Memorialize Tucker," by Eric Berger. (March 16, 1998).

A group of Texans opposed to the death penalty joined with a Danish human rights group Monday to release new stamps commemorating Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman executed in Texas since 1863. The stamps, which cannot be used to mail letters or packages, are similar in function to Easter Seals. "These two stamps of Karla F. Tucker have been made in the hope they will remind you of a human being killed by the state of Texas," said Karen Grue of the Denmark-based group Living Artists, which designed the stamps.

There are two designs, both featuring the same face of a smiling Tucker. In one, she appears in front of a prison gurney similar to the one on which she was executed on Feb. 3 at age 38. On the other stamp, she appears opposite an American flag with an oil rig in the background. The stamps, intended to put a human face on those executed, are being distributed locally by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and overseas by Amnesty International's office in Copenhagen.

The president of Justice For All, a local victim's rights group, called the stamps a poorly conceived idea. "Once again, the victims are disregarded and forgotten," said Dianne Clements. "It is an insult to the surviving family members, not to mention the sensibilities of caring individuals, who realize it is twisted and contemptuous to glorify a murder." But the anti-death penalty coalition members said the stamps are not intended to detract from the memory of victims, but to protest what they call a barbarous process. "This stamp is a reaction and protest to the death penalty by the people of Europe," said David Atwood, coordinator of the Texas coalition.

Richard Thornton, the husband of Tucker's victim, said, "It is most unfortunate that the artists who were motivated to produce this work were so horribly misinformed as to the true character of the person portrayed by them. The work would have been closer to the truth if it had included a pickax and a great deal of blood."


Texas v. Karla Faye Tucker - Background Report: A Question of Mercy. (Link to summary and full text of 150 page Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed in 1998 on behalf of Karla Faye Tucker)

Should Karla Faye Tucker die? This was the question that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. George W. Bush faced in the weeks leading up to Tucker's execution. However, on February 3, 1998, Gov. Bush and the Texas Board of Pardons answered that question when Tucker was executed by lethal injection.

In 1984, Tucker was convicted of the brutal murders of her ex-lover, Jerry Lynn Dean, and his companion, Deborah Thornton and sentenced to the death penalty. During her trial, Tucker admitted that on June 13, 1983, she and her boyfriend at the time, Daniel Ryan Garrett, took a pickax and hacked Dean and Thornton to death while they were sleeping. (Garrett was also convicted of murder and sentenced to the death penalty. However, he died of liver disease while in prison in 1994.) At the murder scene, investigators found the pickax still embedded in Thornton's chest. Tucker even boasted at her trial that she experienced an orgasm each time she plunged the ax down upon her victims. Back then, Tucker was a drug addict and prostitute who seemed unrepentant, and even proud, of her actions.

In various pleas to save her life, Tucker's supporters and lawyer claimed that Tucker, 38, was not the same woman who committed those brutal murders nearly 15 years ago. She was a born-again Christian, and with her "girl-next-door" attractiveness, sometimes it may seem hard to believe that she could have committed such gruesome murders. But Tucker and her lawyer, David Botsford, freely admitted her guilt. Because of her conversion to Christianity, apparent rehabilitation and virtually spotless disciplinary record while in prison, Botsford and other supporters believed that Tucker should be spared the death penalty. Tucker's detractors said that religious conversions for inmates are common and are not a legitimate basis for a pardon from the death penalty.

A Plea for Mercy

On January 20, 1997, attorneys for Tucker filed a petition to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and state district court in Houston to postpone Tucker's execution so that they could have more time to challenge the constitutionality of the state's clemency procedure. In the 155-page court document, Tucker's lawyers reportedly stressed that Tucker was fully rehabilitated and demonstrated during her 14-year imprisonment that she posed no future threat to society. In seeking a pardon from the death penalty, Tucker asked that her sentence be reduced to life imprisonment. Under that sentence, Tucker would have been eligible for parole in 2003.

Reportedly, Tucker's petition was also accompanied by approximately 200 pages of exhibits supporting her plea. Among the exhibits was a Tucker wrote to Gov. Bush and members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, telling them that her crime was "the most horrible nightmare of my life" and that she is no longer a threat to society.

Tucker's Supporters and the Odds Against Her

According to court papers, Tucker and Garrett killed Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton when they broke into Dean's apartment to steal motorcycle parts. Garrett was surprised to find Dean home, asleep in his bed, and proceeded to beat him over the head with a hammer. Tucker then struck Dean with a three-foot ax more than 20 times to stop the gurgling sound he was making. Seeing that Thornton was under the bedsheets next to Dean, Tucker then turned the ax on her.

A pardon from a death sentence in Texas reportedly has never been granted to anyone based on a religious conversion. And of the 36 pardons that have been granted to Texas death-row inmates since 1976, not one has been granted solely for humanitarian reasons. In addition, Gov. Bush, who would have had to approve the pardon with a majority vote by the parole board, publicly said that in evaluating Tucker's case, he would only consider whether there was any doubt she committed the crime and whether she had a fair trial.

Karla Faye Tucker's case attracted a group of supporters that include Rev. Pat Robertson, the homicide detective who recommended that she get the death penalty in the first place, thousands of citizens, and even some support from her victims' siblings. Tucker married a prison chaplain, Dana Brown, two years ago, and he remained by her side until her execution. Tucker was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984, coincidentally the year of her conviction.

A Series of Appeals Rejected

Karla Faye Tucker's appeal to halt her execution was rejected by the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals on January 28, 1998, less than a week before her scheduled execution. Tucker's lawyers had argued Texas's procedure for commuting death sentences, claiming that the law provides no guidelines for parole board members in considering clemency for death row inmates. The following week, on February 2, 1998 (the eve of Tucker's scheduled execution), the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, which could have recommend a pardon for Tucker to Gov. George Bush, rejected her request to have her death sentence changed to life in prison.

On February 3, Tucker's last chance to avoid the death penalty lied with the U.S. Supreme Court, which considered her petition for a stay of the execution. But the Supreme Court denied the request, clearing the way for Tucker's execution later that day.

Houston Chronicle

Excerpts from Karla Faye Tucker Letter to Governor Bush (January 20, 1998)

Though she has not formally filed a request to have her death sentence commuted to life imprisonment, Karla Faye Tucker has written Gov. George W. Bush and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to plead her case. Following are excerpts:

"I am in no way attempting to minimize the brutality of my crime. It obviously was very, very horrible and I do take full responsibility for what happened. ... I also know that justice and law demand my life for the two innocent lives I brutally murdered that night. If my execution is the only thing, the final act that can fulfill the demand for restitution and justice, then I accept that. ... I will pay the price for what I did in any way our law demands it."

"I was advised by my attorneys to plead not guilty and I was trusting their legal expertise. They knew I murdered Jerry and Deborah. I did not lie to them about it. ... I am, in fact, guilty. Very guilty."

"I used to try and blame my mother because she was my role model and she fashioned and shaped me into what I was at an early age. ... At 14 she took me to a place where there was all men and wanted to `school me' in the art of being a call girl. I wanted to please my mother so much. I wanted her to be proud of me. So instead of saying no, I just tried to do what she asked. ... The thing is, deep down inside I knew that what I was doing was wrong. It may have been the norm for the crowd I was in, but it was not the norm for decent, upstanding families."

"I no longer try to lay the blame on my mother or on society." "I don't blame drugs either. When I share that I was out of it on drugs the night I brutally murdered two people, I fully realize that I made the choice to do those drugs. Had I chosen not to do drugs, there would be two people still alive today. But I did choose to do drugs, and I did lose it, and two people are dead because of me."

"I did not plan on going over there that particular night to go into that apartment to kill anyone. But that is beside the point. The fact is, we went there, we went into the apartment, we brutally murdered two precious people, and we left out of there and even bragged about what we did for over a month afterward." "It was in October, three months after I had been locked up, when a ministry came to the jail and I went to the services, that night accepting Jesus into my heart. When I did this, the full and overwhelming weight and reality of what I had done hit me. ... I began crying that night for the first time in many years, and to this day, tears are a part of my life."

"I also wanted to try and send some money out to one of my victim's family members (it was for Deborah's son, for his schooling). ... When Ron Carlson came to me in 1992 and told me he had forgiven me for what I had done to his sister, I let him know I was trying to get some money to his nephew. He told me not to ... I would only be hurting him if I did send the money to him. And he told me that his nephew would not receive the money from me anyway because he wanted nothing to do with me. I understand the pain and I did not push."

"Fourteen years ago, I was part of the problem. Now I am part of the solution. "I have purposed to do right for the last 14 years, not because I am in prison, but because my God demands this of me. I know right from wrong and I must do right." "I feel that if I were in here still in the frame of mind I got arrested in, still acting out and fighting and hurting others and not caring or trying to do good, I feel sure you would consider that against me. ... I don't really understand why you can't or won't consider my change for the good in my favor."

"I don't really understand the guidelines for commutation of death sentences, but I can promise you this: If you commute my sentence to life, I will continue for the rest of my life in this earth to reach out to others to make a positive difference in their lives." "I see people in here in the prison where I am who are here for horrible crimes, and for lesser crimes, who to this day are still acting out in violence and hurting others with no concern for another life or for their own life. I can reach out to these girls and try and help them change before they walk out of this place and hurt someone else."

"I am seeking you to commute my sentence and allow me to pay society back by helping others. I can't bring back the lives I took. But I can, if I am allowed, help save lives. That is the only real restitution I can give."

Texas: Karla Faye Tucker's Original Memorial Homepage.
(Growing Up; Karla's Writings; The Real Karla; Commentary; Anti-Death Penalty Links; Feedback & Chat Room; Karla's Song; Full text of Amended Writ of Habeas Corpus (January 1992); Full Text of Post Evidentiary Hearing Submission (January 1993); Media Coverage and Video)

The letter of the law states that to receive the death penalty in Texas two requirements must both be met: 1) The crime was premeditated 2) The criminal is a continuing threat to society Neither were true of Karla. Since she did not meet either of these requirements ... they WHY was she executed?

If she had had "due process" and a FULL and FAIR hearing in the courts on ALL the issues (which she didn't the truth would have prevailed, and the mitigating evidence around this crime would have qualified her for a sentence of life in prison ... which she would no doubt receive if tried today with a different judge and a Change of Venue. "That's a FACT!" Our posting of court proceedings, filings and transcripts will prove it!

Be sure to see some of the actual court transcript and filings, which we are beginning to upload, including the trial judge's own account, which were submitted to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, showing that the trial judge was biased, admitting that Jimmy Leibrant lied about his deal with the state for testimony against Karla, then later at the Evidentiary Hearing suppressing evidence of perjured testimony that could have exonerated Karla from the "premeditation" aspect of this crime, which is required before a death sentence can be given.

The testimony of the psychiatrist was that in light of all the drugs Karla was on at the time --- methadone, heroin, dilaudid, valium, placidyls, somas, wygesics, percodan, mandrex, marihuana, bathroom "coke" and large quantities of alcohol -- that Karla was in a drug induced psychosis on the date of the offense and that a person "becomes psychotic, unable to distinguish reality, unable to ascertain the effect of their actions." Dr. Felkins testified that Karla did NOT "understand what she was doing at the time and what the affect of her actions would be. She did not realize that what she was doing was wrong and preventable."

Of course, Judge Lykos' bias against Karla saw to it that none of this was ever considered as "mitigating evidence" and accepted instead the perjured testimony of Jimmy Liebrant, third accomplice in the crime even though he came forth in 1992 to confess that he had lied about the premeditation and drugs of Karla on the stand, and was even "high" during his testimony. Judge Lykos even acknowledges this in the court records you will read here in the coming days. What happened to a "fair hearing" and Justice in America?

When you think that as cruel as the old Soviet Union was, there at least were hospitals for the "criminally insane" it makes you wonder why the U.S. is the only western, technocratic society that still conducts executions, and among the few of all nations such as Iran, Iraq & Nigeria, all of whom have human rights violations, that executes teenagers and the mentally ill. Oh, and yes, the victims of our failed "war on drugs" like Karla ! ! ! ! Many Americans do not wish to be collegues in crime with our cold and politically-minded American society that has no value of the sanctity of LIFE . . . EVERY LIFE! Americans for life, speak up and vote for true defenders of "justice for all." We can change things before many more Karlas are ignored and killed by our society.

Finally, our purpose in continuing this site for a while is not to eulogize Karla, but to address a bigger problem of lack of sensitivity and understanding of the scourge of drugs and the ineptitude of our society to deal with it and other such social problems. Issues of justice and basic human rights will always be relevant and are basic to our motivation for ministry to this generation. So check in ... and see future postings. Thank you for your interest and support of this site. God bless you all!

As Karla's pastor for over 12 years (1984-1996) I and our whole church and outreach ministry, with whom Karla actively worked, have spent much time getting to THE TRUTH, and in the aftermath of Karla's execution, I will post on these pages evidence such as court records and other documentation, which attest to the veracity of our statements here. Karla's attorney, Mac Secrest, can also attest to the factual accuracy of these pages, particularly the facts of this gross miscarriage of justice noted on the page regarding "due process.

The record shows Karla is a true example of many who can not get a fair hearing or justice in a local "home-town," vigilante-minded court because of the same kind of treatment by local authorities and courts as that received by Ricardo Guerra,whose capital murder conviction and death sentence for a murder the year before Karla's (1982) was overturned in 1994 by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Hoyt. When he saw that witnesses had been pressured and intimidated for certain testimony (as Liebrant had been), Hoyt stated that the actions of the police and prosecutors (in Houston) were "outrageous," "intentional" and "done in bad faith" ..."to obtain another 'notch in their guns' " (like Lykos). His ruling was unanimously upheld by the U.S. Court of appeals.

This was the "same channel, same place, same time," folks--Houston-- in the early eighties! Same injustice, same prejudice by a vengeance-filled court and judge with "home court advantage"! No change of venue here! Some of the jurors now regret it, but did their best with what the JUDGE allowed them to see, hear and consider! Judge Lykos' controlled verdict prevailed from beginning to the end!

For the few hating Karla and her "life-message" and thinking justice was served, my suggestion is you FACE the FACTS and ask how you can contribute to changing injustice, prejudice and vengeance in our land ... to exchange your "heart of stone" for a "heart of flesh" that responds to the needs of the oppressed, down-trodden, homeless, family-less, abused drug-ridden pariah of our society like Karla. Then you will have the heart of Christ, and God will be pleased with you! You will no longer be the one to cast the first stone, but the first one to try to interceed and cry, "Restore!"

Finally, we're not talking about Karla now or eulogizing her, we're talking about Almighty God and his requirements of true Justice With Mercy. You may need it some day. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy," Jesus said, but "judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful" (Ja. 2:13) Jesus said, "As the Father has sent Me, so send I you." So ask yourself what my children do and did when they saw Karla's picture in the paper, "What would Jesus do?" They said, "He wouldn't KILL her!"

Karla Faye Tucker Links from "1000+ Death Penalty Links (Clark County Prosecutor)


Full Transcript of Karla Faye Tucker interview on CNN Larry King Live, January 14, 1998.

Karla Faye Tucker Challenges Texas Clemency Procedures. (CNN, January 20, 1998)

CNN Interactive News Report on the constitutional challenge by Karla Faye Tucker to the Texas Clemency procedures on the eve of her execution.

"Mercy, Clemency, and the Case of Karla Faye Tucker," by Mary Sigler.

(OHIO STATE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW Vol 4:455) "Without taking a position on whether Tucker’s life should have been taken orspared, this essay explores the grounds for mercy and clemency raised in her caseand calls into question many of the claims and conclusions of her supporters. Theauthor argues that, on the most plausible account of American criminal law, Tucker’spost-offense rehabilitation has little bearing on the punishment she deserves."


Karla Faye Tucker
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karla Faye Tucker
Born November 18, 1959
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Died February 3, 1998 (aged 38)
Huntsville, Texas, U.S.
Charge(s) Murder
Penalty Death sentence
Spouse Dana Lane Brown

Karla Faye Tucker (November 18, 1959 – February 3, 1998) was convicted of murder in Texas in 1984 and put to death in 1998. She was the first woman to be executed in the United States since 1984, and the first in Texas since 1863. Because of her gender and widely-publicized conversion to Christianity, she inspired an unusually large national and international movement advocating the commutation of her sentence to life imprisonment, a movement which included a few foreign government officials.

Early life

Karla Tucker was born and raised in Houston, Texas, the youngest of three sisters. Her father Larry was a longshoreman on the Gulf of Mexico. The marriage was very troubled, and Tucker started smoking with her sisters when she was eight years old. At the age of ten, her parents divorced, and during the divorce proceedings, she learned that she had been the result of an extramarital affair. By age 12, she had turned to drugs and sex. When she was 14, she dropped out of school and followed her mother Carolyn, a rock groupie, into prostitution and began traveling with the Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, and the Eagles. At age 16, she briefly married a mechanic named Stephen Griffith. In her early 20s, she began hanging out with bikers, and met a woman named Shawn Dean and her husband Jerry Lynn Dean, who introduced her to a man named Danny Garrett in 1981.[1][2]

Shawn Dean had broken up with her husband, Jerry Lynn Dean, who had given her a "busted nose and lip." After having spent the weekend doing drugs with her boyfriend, Danny Garrett and their friends, Tucker and Garrett entered Jerry Dean's home around 3:00 am, intending to steal Dean's motorcycle. James Leibrant, a friend, went with them to Dean's apartment complex. Leibrant reported that he went looking for Dean's El Camino while Tucker and Garrett entered the apartment with a set of keys that Tucker claimed Shawn Dean had lost and Tucker had found.

During the burglary, Tucker and Garrett entered Dean's bedroom, where Tucker sat on him. In an effort to protect himself, Dean grabbed Tucker above the elbows, whereupon Garrett intervened. Garrett struck Dean numerous times in the back of the head with a hammer he found on the floor. (Dean kept his work tools in his bedroom.) After hitting Dean, Garrett left the room to carry motorcycle parts out of the apartment. Tucker remained in the bedroom.

The blows Garrett had dealt Dean caused his head to become unhinged from his neck and his breathing passages to fill with fluid. He began making a "gurgling" sound characteristic of this type of injury. Tucker wanted to "stop him from making that noise" and attacked him with a pickax. Garrett then reentered the room and dealt Dean a final blow in the chest.

Garrett left the bedroom again so as to continue loading Dean's motorcycle parts into his Ranchero. Tucker was once again left in the room and only then noticed a woman who had hidden under the bedcovers against the wall. The woman, Deborah Thornton, had met Dean at a party earlier that afternoon. Upon discovering Thornton, Tucker grazed her shoulder with the pickax. Thornton and Tucker began to struggle, but Garrett returned and separated them. He proceeded to hit Thornton repeatedly with the pickax and then embedded the axe in her heart.

The next morning, a coworker of Dean's who had been waiting for a ride entered the apartment and discovered the victims' bodies. Investigation led to the arrests of Tucker and Garrett.[3]

Trial and conviction

In September 1983, Tucker and Garrett were indicted and tried separately for the murders. Tucker entered a plea of not guilty and was jailed awaiting trial. She took a Bible from the prison ministry program and read it in her cell. She later recalled, "I didn't know what I was reading and before I knew it, I was just — I was in the middle of my floor on my knees and I was just asking God to forgive me."[4]

Though the death penalty was hardly ever sought for female defendants, Garrett and Tucker were both sentenced to death in late 1984. (Garrett died in prison of liver disease in 1993.) She shared her Death Row cell at the Gatesville Unit with her friend Pam Perillo, whose own sentence was eventually commuted to life in prison. Tucker became a Christian in 1985.

Between 1984 and 1992, requests for a retrial and appeals were denied, but on June 22, Tucker requested that her life be spared on the basis that she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the murder and was now a reformed person. Her plea drew support from abroad and also from some leaders of American conservatism. Among those who appealed to the State of Texas on her behalf were Waly Bacre Ndiaye, the United Nations commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions; the World Council of Churches; Pope John Paul II; Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi; the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; televangelist Pat Robertson; and Ron Carlson, the brother of Tucker's murder victim Debbie Thornton. The warden of Texas' Huntsville prison testified that she was a model prisoner and that, after 14 years on death row, she likely had been reformed.[citation needed] The board turned her down on January 28, 1998.

In the year following her execution, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson questioned Governor George W. Bush about how the Board of Pardons and Parole had arrived at the determination on her clemency plea. Carlson alleged that Bush, alluding to a televised interview which Karla Faye Tucker had given to talk show host Larry King, smirked and spoke mockingly about her.[5]


On February 2, 1998, state authorities took Tucker from the unit in Gatesville and flew her to the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, where she was executed by lethal injection the next day, and pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m.[6] She selected five people to watch her die, including Thornton's husband Richard and his two stepchildren, who supported the death penalty, and Thornton's brother Ronald Carlson, who opposed the execution and had been converted by her faith after visiting Tucker on death row. Her last words were:

“ Yes sir, I would like to say to all of you — the Thornton family and Jerry Dean’s family — that I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this. Baby, I love you. Ron, give Peggy a hug for me. Everybody has been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. Warden Baggett, thank all of you so much. You have been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you. ”

She is buried at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.

International reactions

Tucker gained international attention because she would be the first woman to be executed in Texas since the Civil War and the first in the United States since 1984. Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro noted in a public speech that capital punishment supporters outside a Texas prison had cheered when Tucker was executed. "And we are on the threshold of 2,000 years of Christ!" he exclaimed. In England, Richard Harries of the Diocese of Oxford reported that a Gospel singer's rendition of "Amazing Grace" was shouted down by cries of "Kill the bitch!" from the pro-death penalty crowd that gathered outside of the prison.

Tucker v. State, 771 S.W.2d 523 (Tex.Cr.App. 1988) (Direct Appeal).

Defendant was convicted of murder in the 180th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Patricia Lykos, J., and sentenced to death. Defendant appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals, Clinton, J., held that: (1) evidence was sufficient to show probability defendant would commit criminal acts of violence which would constitute continuing threat to society; (2) evidence was sufficient to establish that defendant committed murder while in course of robbery; (3) evidence was sufficient to support finding defendant had acted deliberately with reasonable expectation that her conduct would cause death of victim; and (4) proffered testimony of witness for defendant was inadmissible. Affirmed. Teague, J., dissented.


Appellant was convicted of capital murder pursuant to V.T.C.A. Penal Code § 19.03(a)(2). After the jury answered the two special issues submitted in the affirmative, the trial court assessed her punishment at death. Appellant raises nine points of error, including sufficiency of the evidence.

On the morning of June 13, 1983, Gregory Traver was waiting for his friend and coworker, Jerry Lynn Dean, to pick him up for work. When Dean failed to arrive at the usual time, Traver walked the short distance to Dean's apartment and knocked on the door. Finding it slightly ajar, Traver called out the name of his friend and, receiving no response, he entered the apartment. When he reached Dean's spare bedroom, Traver saw Dean lying on the floor with blood on his head. The body of a young woman lay beside him, a pickax imbedded in her chest. Traver immediately called the police.

While inside Dean's apartment, Traver noticed the motorcycle that Dean had been building was gone. Dean's El Camino pickup was also missing. His stereo and television had been taken down and stacked in front of the cabinet on which they were usually kept.

When police arrived, they found the bodies of Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton lying on the mattress and floor of the spare bedroom. There were several boxes of materials stacked in the room along with piles of dirty clothes and garden tools. Both bodies had been stabbed repeatedly with what appeared to be a pickax, which was still in the woman's body. Property missing from the apartment included the dead man's motorcycle, his El Camino, and his wallet. Thornton's wallet was also gone. There was no evidence of a forced entry.

Police had few leads on the killings until about five weeks later, when Doug Garrett called his longtime friend, homicide detective J.C. Mosier of the Houston Police Department. Mosier met with Doug and his girlfriend, Kari Burrell, the next day. They told Mosier that Doug's brother, Danny Garrett, and Kari's sister, appellant Karla Faye Tucker, had committed the murders. The couple's friend, James Leibrant, had also been present during the killings. After talking to the officers investigating the murders of Dean and Thornton, Doug agreed to have himself wired with a microphone in order to obtain information directly from appellant and Danny. A couple of days later, Doug rode his motorcycle over to Danny and appellant's house on McKean Street in Houston. There, he, appellant and Danny spoke for about one and a half hours about the murders. The conversation was recorded and the tape was admitted in evidence at appellant's trial. That same day, after Doug left the house, and based on the information he had obtained, police arrested appellant, Danny, Ronnie Burrell and James Leibrant.

The following story emerged at the guilt/innocence phase of appellant's trial. On June 12, 1983, appellant, her boyfriend Danny, Kari, Kari's exhusband Ronnie, and James Leibrant, were at appellant's house on McKean Street. For most of the afternoon, they had been “drinking, smoking pot,” and “eating pills.” That evening, Kari and Ronnie left the house separately and did not return until the next day. Between 2:30 and 4:30 on the morning of June 13, 1983, appellant, Danny and Leibrant decided to go over to Jerry Lynn Dean's apartment to “intimidate” him, collect some money Dean allegedly owed appellant or Garrett and to steal his motorcycle. Danny took his shotgun along in case Dean resisted. There was also some testimony that Danny took some rubber gloves along, though it is not clear whether he actually wore them during the killings. Appellant had been talking about “offing” Dean and taking his motorcycle for quite some time.

Upon arriving at Dean's apartment, appellant and Danny walked to the front door, while Leibrant remained outside. Appellant unlocked the door with a key she had stolen from her friend Shawn, who was Dean's estranged wife. They proceeded to Dean's spare bedroom, where Dean and Deborah Thornton were sleeping. According to Kari, appellant “put a pickax up to Jerry Dean's head and told him not to move, motherfucker, or you're dead.” Appellant told her sister that she or Danny “bunted one of them upside the head. I don't know which one,” and when Dean began to beg for his life, she “picked” him numerous times. She also told Kari “every time she picked Jerry, that she looked up and she grinned and got a nut and hit him again.”

After she and Danny had disposed of Dean, appellant discovered Deborah Thornton in the room, shaking in terror. “They threw-they pushed the girl down, threw her under the sheets, and told her if she wants to live to see daylight, then to be quiet and stay underneath the sheets.” Appellant and Danny then began to “pick” Thornton, and when she “begged for them to go ahead and kill her because she couldn't take anymore,” then “Danny kicked her upside the chin, and through her back, and buried the ax into her throat, the pickax.”

At some point during the killings, Danny went outside to retrieve Leibrant, who had been napping in Danny's Ranchero pickup. When Leibrant entered the apartment, he heard a gurgling noise that “sounded like an aquarium pump that was broken.” He then observed appellant standing with one foot on a body, which was covered with a sheet, jerking on the pickax, trying to get it loose. “[S]he finally got the ax out, got it up over her head, turned and looked at me and smiled, and hit the dude again.” Stunned by this sight, Leibrant fled the apartment. Dean died of severe trauma to the head and multiple stab wounds.

After disposing of Dean and Thornton, appellant and Danny placed Dean's partially assembled motorcycle in the back of the dead man's El Camino pickup along with some boxes of motorcycle parts they had found in the apartment. Appellant drove the El Camino over to Doug's apartment. There, she related the events of the morning to Doug, describing how she and Danny had “offed Jerry Dean last night.” She said, “Dan hit him with the hammer and I picked him,” and “Doug, I come with every stroke” of the pickax. She handed him Dean's wallet, which he threw in the trash after burning its contents. The El Camino was abandoned that same day in a parking lot near the Astrodome. The motorcycle and its parts were stored for awhile in Doug's garage, then in Danny's before Doug decided to throw them into the Brazos River.

Back at the house she shared with Danny and Kari, appellant told her sister how she and Danny had killed Dean and Thornton and that she got a “thrill” while “picking” Dean. Appellant gave Thornton's wallet to Kari as a birthday present, which she threw away in disgust. Later that day, a story about the killings was broadcast on the local news. Appellant and Danny laughed and bragged that they were the “pickax murderers.” Kari became frightened for her life and that very day, moved out of the house on McKean and in with Doug, whom she later married.

In her sixth point of error, appellant claims the evidence is insufficient to show there was a probability that she would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society. Art. 37.071(b)(2), V.A.C.C.P. She states that she has no prior convictions, that the expert testimony did not establish any sociopathic tendencies, and she posed no danger to anyone while incarcerated. Furthermore, there was mitigating evidence of intoxication not considered by the jury, and appellant was remorseful once she had gotten off drugs. For these reasons, she claims there is insufficient evidence to support the jury's affirmative answer to special issue number two. We cannot agree.

While it is true that appellant had no prior convictions, the testimony presented at the punishment phase showed she had a history of violent behavior. The psychological and psychiatric testimony, though somewhat conflicting, also showed her violent nature. Appellant herself took the stand and testified as to her turbulent past. At age fourteen, she beat up a classmate, blackening both her eyes. She got in a fight with a man and a woman when she was fifteen, and regularly fought with her exhusband. In all, she claims to have been in “at least three good fights that someone was hurt.”

Appellant also stated that she had disliked Dean, and told how she had once attacked him, breaking his glasses, and requiring him to go to the hospital to have the glass removed from his eye. After the killings of Dean and Thornton, appellant bragged to the others about what she had done, and boasted she had received sexual gratification every time she struck Dean with the pickax. Appellant showed no remorse until after she was arrested.

Appellant's sister, Kari, stated that she had heard appellant and Danny talking about killing Leibrant and Ronnie to keep them from talking to anyone about the murders. Appellant herself confirmed this conversation at the punishment phase. Appellant also testified about her plans to go on future escapades with Danny and his friends to raid drug labs, kill the people who worked there and to steal their property. All of this testimony indicates appellant's past violence and a willingness to persist in this type of behavior.

Furthermore, the nature of the killings, the planning involved in their commission, appellant's claims of sexual gratification during the “picking” of Dean and her boastfulness afterwards, tend to “evince a ‘most dangerous aberration of character.’ ” Cass v. State, 676 S.W.2d 589, 593 (Tex.Cr.App.1984), citing King v. State, 631 S.W.2d 486 (Tex.Cr.App.1982), and Burns v. State, 556 S.W.2d 270 (Tex.Cr.App.1977). Accordingly, we cannot say the jury was not justified in believing she would commit criminal acts of violence which would constitute a continuing threat to society. The evidence is sufficient to support the jury's affirmative answer to special issue two. Appellant's seventh point of error is overruled.

In her eighth point of error, appellant claims that the evidence is insufficient to establish the offense of capital murder beyond a reasonable doubt because the State failed to prove that Dean was killed while in the course of a robbery. V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 19.03(a)(2). We do not agree.

Appellant claims that there was no connection between the killings of Dean and Thornton and the subsequent theft of Dean's property. She suggests that proof of the bad feelings between herself and Dean indicates her sole intent was to kill, and the property was taken as an afterthought. This argument is contrary to the gist of the testimony elicited at appellant's trial. Leibrant stated that he, appellant and Danny went over to Dean's apartment to “collect some money and intimidate the man a little,” and also said that they discussed taking Dean's motorcycle and perhaps his stereo and television. Kari testified that appellant had several times expressed an interest in taking Dean's motorcycle because she wanted to use it to build her own.FN1 Appellant and Danny did, in fact, appropriate the motorcycle.

FN1. At the punishment phase, appellant testified that she, Danny, Shawn, Leibrant and Ronnie had discussed “offing” Dean and taking his motorcycle. She told Shawn to go get the key to Dean's apartment so they could carry out these plans. When appellant's own counsel asked her who had brought up the subject of killing Dean, she replied, “Danny mentioned something to the affect (sic) that he, Jerry, might have to be killed when the motorcycle would be taken, if the motorcycle-if we were to steal the motorcycle.” In view of this testimony, appellant cannot complain of insufficient evidence to show she committed murder in the course of robbery. DeGarmo v. State, 691 S.W.2d 657, 661 (Tex.Cr.App.1985).

When considering whether the evidence is sufficient to support a verdict of guilty, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict in order to determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found all of the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Fierro v. State, 706 S.W.2d 310, 313 (Tex.Cr.App.1986). In Banks v. State, 643 S.W.2d 129 (Tex.Cr.App.1983), we held the evidence to be sufficient to establish that defendant committed the offense of murder in the course of robbery. There, defendant had stated that he had decided to kill the deceased “just for the hell of it” and to steal his car. The defendant there apparently did not form the requisite intent until the time of the killing. In Fierro, supra, we held that even though there was neither a prior discussion of robbery nor any evidence that the defendant demanded money or property from the victim before shooting him, his intent to commit robbery may be inferred from actions or conduct. Id., 707 S.W.2d at 313, citing Banks v. State, 471 S.W.2d 811, 812 (Tex.Cr.App.1971). In both Banks and Fierro, the intent to kill was formed contemporaneously to the event, namely the robbery. See also, Russell v. State, 665 S.W.2d 771 (Tex.Cr.App.1983), and Mulder v. State, 707 S.W.2d 908 (Tex.Cr.App.1986).

In the case at bar, the record reflects that appellant formed the intent to kill Dean and steal his property well in advance of the robbery/murder which occurred on July 13, 1983. Therefore, the evidence of robbery is more substantial than that found sufficient under Banks and Fierro, supra. Here, two witnesses testified that appellant had been an active participant in an ongoing plan to “off” Dean and take his motorcycle. From this testimony, along with the actual theft of the motorcycle, a rational trier of fact would be entitled to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant committed the murder while in the course of robbery. Appellant's eighth point of error is overruled.

In her final sufficiency ground, appellant contends in her ninth point of error that the evidence is insufficient to support a finding that she had acted deliberately with the reasonable expectation that her conduct would cause the death of Dean. Art. 37.071(b)(1) V.A.C.C.P. Specifically, she suggests that the evidence shows her conduct, as opposed to that of Danny's, could not have caused the death of Dean beyond a reasonable doubt. This premise is the basis for her argument that the State failed to show she was culpable by virtue of her own actions, and so her conduct was insufficient to establish the intent to kill required by Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 102 S.Ct. 3368, 73 L.Ed.2d 1140 (1982). We do not agree.

In measuring sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's affirmative answer to the first special issue, we assay whether a defendant's conduct reflects “a conscious decision-greater than mere will-to cause the death of the victim.” Nichols v. State, 754 S.W.2d 185, 201 (Tex.Cr.App.1988). When two or more persons are involved in the killing, the law of parties may not be applied to the punishment phase of defendant's trial. Green v. State, 682 S.W.2d 271 (Tex.Cr.App.1984). The State may not rely on evidence that another with whom the defendant was acting, did so deliberately, but must focus on the defendant's own culpable conduct to determine whether the murder was committed deliberately and with a reasonable expectation that death would result. Rector v. State, 738 S.W.2d 235, 241 (Tex.Cr.App.1986), citing Meanes v. State, 668 S.W.2d 366, 379 (Tex.Cr.App.1983) (Clinton, J., concurring).

However, if the evidence warrants, the jury may be instructed on the law of parties at the conclusion of the guilt/innocence phase. Here, the trial court charged the jury that they could find appellant guilty either as a primary actor, or as a party.FN2 If the jury found her guilty as the primary actor, the evidence was sufficient to support a finding of deliberateness. The evidence most favorable to such a finding is indicated by appellant's willing participation in Dean's killing. The record reflects that it was probably appellant's idea to kill Dean and take his motorcycle in order to build her own. She went willingly to his apartment, and once inside, struck him numerous times with the pickax. The medical examiner stated that Dean could have died from either the blow to the head, the multiple stab wounds, or both. Thus, the evidence most favorable to the verdict is sufficient to show appellant's conscious decision, “greater than mere will,” to engage in conduct that caused the death of Dean. Nichols, supra. The jury was therefore justified in finding appellant acted deliberately, as the primary actor in Dean's death.

FN2. V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 7.01(a) provides that a person may be held criminally responsible as a party to an offense if it is committed by his own conduct, by the conduct of another for which he is criminally responsible, or by both.

V.T.C.A. Penal Code § 7.02(a)(2) further provides that a person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if, acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense.

Alternatively, appellant could have been found guilty as a party if the jury found she intentionally solicited, encouraged, directed, aided, or attempted to aid Danny in his effort to kill Dean in the course of a robbery. Meanes v. State, 668 S.W.2d 366, 375 (Tex.Cr.App.1983). In view of the evidence summarized above, the jury would have been justified in finding appellant guilty as a party. Even if appellant did not strike the fatal blow, the record would support a finding that she acted with intent to promote the commission of the offense because she solicited, encouraged, directed, aided, or attempted to aid Danny in killing Dean. See, V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 7.02(a)(2); Green, supra, at 286. The evidence shows that appellant and Danny had been planning to “off” Dean and steal his property for some time prior to the killing. She and Danny went into Dean's apartment together. Danny hit Dean in the head and they both participated in “picking” Dean. We conclude this evidence is sufficient to show appellant acted deliberately and with a reasonable expectation that death would result, in soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding, or attempting to aid Danny in the intentional murder of Dean.

Having found evidence of deliberateness to be sufficient, we also find that Enmund v. Florida, supra, is satisfied. In Enmund, supra, the United States Supreme Court held that when two or more persons were involved in the commission of the offense, the death penalty could not be assessed against a defendant “who did not kill, attempt to kill, or intend to kill, or intend to contemplate that life would be taken.” Green, supra, at 287, citing Meanes, supra, at 375. The focus must be “on the defendant's culpability, not on those who committed” the offense. Cuevas v. State, 742 S.W.2d 331, 351 (Tex.Cr.App.1987). Special issue number one “clearly focuses the jury's attention on the individual defendant by asking if the conduct of the defendant ‘was committed deliberately’ and with the reasonable expectation that death would result.” Meanes, supra, at 375. We have previously held that the first special issue includes the required Enmund finding. Cuevas, supra. Since the jury here answered special issue one affirmatively, the jury also made the required Enmund finding.

Furthermore, in our view the jury made an adequate finding of an intent to kill in its verdict of guilt, regardless of whether it found appellant guilty as primary actor or as a party to the offense. In a prosecution for capital murder under V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 19.03(a)(2), in order to convict the accused as a primary actor the State must prove and the jury must find that he “intentionally commit[ted] the murder” in the course of the underlying felony. Unquestionably such a finding satisfies Enmund. Moreover, before the accused may be found criminally responsible for the conduct of another who “intentionally commits the murder,” under the provisions of V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 7.02(a)(2), it must be shown the accused harbored a specific “intent to promote or assist the commission of” the intentional murder the other committed. Meanes v. State, supra at 375-76; Rector v. State, supra at 244; See also Martinez v. State, 763 S.W.2d 413, 420 n. 5 (Tex.Cr.App.1988). One could hardly indulge an intent to promote or assist in the commission of an intentional murder without, at a minimum, intending or contemplating that lethal force would be used. In short, that the jury may not have believed appellant actually inflicted the blow which killed Dean is of no moment. Because it was required to find an intent to promote or assist commission of an intentional murder before the jury could convict appellant as a party to the offense in the first instance, we cannot say the jury failed to make the required Enmund finding. Appellant's ninth point of error is overruled.

In her first two points of error, appellant asserts that the trial court committed reversible error by refusing to allow her to offer the testimony of Donna Wages in the presence of the jury to show bias on behalf of State's witness James Leibrant. Appellant sought to show the State had agreed to recommend a lenient sentence in return for Leibrant's testimony.

The record reflects that Leibrant, an eyewitness to part of the murders, was questioned on crossexamination about a “deal” for leniency between himself and the District Attorney's Office. Leibrant denied the existence of any such arrangement, conceding only that it had been agreed if he testified, that fact would be made known to the court at his own trial.

Appellant then attempted to offer the testimony of Wages in order to show there did in fact exist an agreement for leniency in exchange for Leibrant's cooperation. Outside the presence of the jury, Wages testified that as a bystander she had overheard Assistant District Attorney Charlie Davidson and another man, who was never identified, discussing the appellant's case. Wages stated that, although appellant's name was never mentioned, she began to pay attention to the conversation when the two referred to the “pickax murders.” They mentioned “the girl” and a person named Jimmy, who had been offered “a single digit number” in return for his testimony. Reference was also made to a tape, wherein someone was “talking about reaching a climax every time, you know, this happened.” Wages, who was charged with theft, knew appellant through various programs and clubs at the Harris County Jail. The court sustained the State's objection to Wages' proffered testimony on hearsay grounds.

Upon request of appellant, the court called Davidson to the stand. The court questioned him extensively as to the alleged agreement. Davidson confirmed Leibrant's statement that the only “agreement”*531 was that “if he would testify, ... truthfully as we understood it, that we would make the judge presiding over his cases aware of his testimony ... at the time his cases came up. We have not made any kind of affirmative deals or bargains with him as far as punishment....” Davidson testified further that he knew who Wages was, but recalled no conversation he ever had in her presence. He did not remember having a discussion with anyone fitting the description given by Wages. Neither did he make Leibrant an offer of a single digit number, specifically between six and nine years in return for this testimony.FN3

FN3. Leibrant had previously testified that Ronnie Burrell told him that he might get as little as five years if he testified for the State. Of course, Burrell was not an agent of the State.

The defense then questioned Davidson. His testimony was essentially the same as that elicited by the court. He said that he had approached Leibrant about testifying against appellant. Again, he emphatically denied any deal or bargain with Leibrant for his testimony, but stated that it was always the State's intention to “advise the judge of his cooperation and allow the judge to be the one to assess whatever punishment he felt proper in his cases.”

The court then briefly questioned Leibrant's attorney, John Whitmire, who acknowledged that he did not fit Wages' description of the man she saw talking to Davidson. Whitmire, who was present when Davidson testified, stated that Davidson, to his knowledge, had made no misrepresentations during the course of his testimony. He also stated that he had not entered into any agreement with the State on Leibrant's behalf.

Appellant then reoffered Wages' testimony, seeking to introduce it in the presence of the jury and the court again refused her proffer. Appellant argues that the court's refusal of Wages' proffered testimony denied her right of confrontation and this denial in turn was a violation of due process.

The right of an accused to confront witnesses against him is guaranteed in both the United States and Texas Constitutions. U.S. Const. amend. VI; Tex. Const.Ann., Article I, § 10. The United States Supreme Court has consistently upheld this right, characterizing its main purpose as allowing the defendant the opportunity to cross examine, not merely to physically confront witnesses who testify against him. Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673, 678, 106 S.Ct. 1431, 1435, 89 L.Ed.2d 674, 683 (1986), citing Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308, 315, 94 S.Ct. 1105, 1110, 39 L.Ed.2d 347 (1974). The witness' motivation in testifying is of particular relevance. However, the trial court retains wide latitude to impose reasonable limits on such cross examination without violating the Confrontation Clause. Van Arsdall, supra, U.S. at 679, S.Ct. at 1435, L.Ed.2d at 683. “[T]he Confrontation Clause guarantees an opportunity for effective cross-examination, not cross-examination that is effective in whatever way, and to whatever extent, the defense might wish.” Id. citing Delaware v. Fensterer, 474 U.S. 15, 20, 106 S.Ct. 292, 295, 88 L.Ed.2d 15 (1985). Cf. United States v. Owens, 484 U.S. 554, 108 S.Ct. 838, 98 L.Ed.2d 951 (1988).

We have previously held that the accused should be given great latitude to show a witness' bias or motive to testify falsely. Carmona v. State, 698 S.W.2d 100, 104 (Tex.Cr.App.1985); Chvojka v. State, 582 S.W.2d 828, 831 (Tex.Cr.App.1979). The trial court may properly limit cross examination to exclude certain matters, however, provided the defendant has been otherwise afforded a thorough and effective cross. Carmona, supra. Trial courts have wide discretion as to how and when bias may be proved and to decide what evidence is material for that purpose. Chvojka, supra.

These “wide latitude” cases cited above stand for the proposition that trial courts decide whether or not proffered evidence is actually relevant to show bias, motive, etc., on the part of a witness. However, this is not to say that obviously relevant evidence is admissible even if it suffers from some other evidentiary shortcoming, such as being objectionable as hearsay. Cf. Green v. State, 566 S.W.2d 578 (Tex.Cr.App.1978) (hearsay offered to show presence of conspiracy against defendant held inadmissible to impeach police officers); Taylor v. State, 160 Tex.Cr.R. 124, 267 S.W.2d 828 (1954) (statement by defendant's son that his father told him to get in backseat because he was interfering with driving held not admissible for impeachment of defendant in prosecution for driving while intoxicated, where son did not testify); Adams v. State, 7 S.W.2d 528, 529 (Tex.Cr.App.1928) (letter to district attorney from first wife claiming defendant had wrecked her life held inadmissible to impeach her where she had testified favorably for defendant in bigamy prosecution). Here, appellant is claiming she is entitled to prove the fact that a deal was made and offered to Leibrant. However, the only substantive evidence of any such deal constituted hearsay, a third party assertion admitted for the truth of the matter asserted.

Appellant complains that because she was forced to attempt to admit hearsay as substantive evidence, she was caught between Scylla and Charybdis. The only other way for her to have utilized Wages' testimony would have been to call Davidson, elicit his statement denying the “deal,” and then use it as a “prior inconsistent statement” to impeach Davidson. This procedure would not have involved substantive use of the out of court statement. However, appellant rightly points out that she could not have done so under this Court's construction of Article 38.28, V.A.C.C.P. In Pitts v. State, 758 S.W.2d 757 (Tex.Cr.App.1988, rehearing denied, Oct. 10, 1988), we reiterated the two part test which must be met before a party was allowed to impeach his own witness under our former rule. Not only must he show the testimony surprised him, but he must also show that the witness testified to facts “injurious” to his case. Pitts, supra, at 758-59. Clearly appellant could not have met this standard.

Although she nowhere cites it in her brief, appellant's situation is reminiscent of the defendant's predicament in Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284, 93 S.Ct. 1038, 35 L.Ed.2d 297 (1973). There the Supreme Court found that the Mississippi common law “voucher” rule, operating in tandem with an inflexible application of the hearsay rule, effectively deprived Chambers of due process of law. Under Mississippi's “voucher” rule, Chambers was prevented from impeaching one McDonald, a witness he himself had called to the stand. Thus, he was unable either to crossexamine a witness whose testimony was damaging to his case, or present witnesses in his own behalf who would have discredited that witness. He was denied the opportunity to test McDonald's recollection, probe into the details of his alibi, or to “sift” his conscience so the jury might determine whether his testimony was worthy of belief. Id., 410 U.S. at 294-95, 93 S.Ct. at 1045-46, 35 L.Ed.2d at 308-09.

However, the Supreme Court's rationale did not rest solely upon operation of the “voucher” rule. The trial court also refused to allow Chambers to introduce the testimony of three witnesses on the grounds their testimony constituted hearsay. Each would have testified to a separate statement purportedly made by McDonald shortly after the crime had been committed, naming himself as the murderer. These statements were in the nature of confessions, were made shortly after the commission of the offense, were corroborated by other evidence in the case, and were clearly against McDonald's penal interest. McDonald was present in the courtroom, under oath and subject to cross examination. Under these circumstances the Supreme Court found the testimony to possess substantial indicia of reliability, and held that to refuse to bend the hearsay rule constituted a violation of due process in the premises. “[W]here constitutional rights directly affecting the ascertainment of guilt are implicated, the hearsay rule may not be applied mechanistically to defeat the ends of justice.” Id., 410 U.S. at 302, 93 S.Ct. at 1049, 35 L.Ed.2d at 313.

The present case is distinguishable. Standing alone, uncorroborated by any other evidence, Wages' testimony lacked any indicia of reliability whatsoever. *533 Under these circumstances we cannot agree that application of our own “voucher” rule justified admission of hearsay evidence. Appellant does not assail constitutionality of Article 38.28, supra, per se. Had appellant here actually called Davidson to the stand, tried unsuccessfully to impeach him with the testimony of Wages, and then attempted to argue confrontation defects with this Court's construction of Article 38.28, we may have been inclined to decide whether application of our version of the “voucher” rule in and of itself deprived appellant of a fair trial. However, whatever constitutional defects may be inherent in Article 38.28, supra, preventing use of Wages' testimony to impeach Davidson, that does not justify substantive use of her testimony when none of the indicia of reliability such as those identified in Chambers is present here. We overrule appellant's first two points of error.

In her third point of error, appellant contends that the submission of an instruction on V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 8.04 during the penalty phase was unconstitutional because it required the jury to find that appellant's voluntary intoxication rose to the level of temporary insanity before it could consider her drug use on the night of the offense as a factor in mitigation of her punishment. Because the jury could not consider the mitigating evidence of intoxication in any other light, appellant argues, the inclusion of this charge establishes egregious harm.

While our penal code specifically precludes voluntary intoxication as a defense to the commission of crime, mitigation of punishment is possible, but only where the level of intoxication produces temporary insanity in the defendant. Cordova v. State, 733 S.W.2d 175, 189 (Tex.Cr.App.1987); Sawyers v. State, 724 S.W.2d 24 (Tex.Cr.App.1986). See also, G. Reamey, CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND DEFENSES IN TEXAS, 216 (1987). A defendant must be able to show his intoxication produced temporary insanity in order to be entitled to a charge that such insanity may mitigate his punishment. Reamey, supra.

Here, appellant offered extensive evidence of chronic drug abuse extending over a long period of time. Through her own and expert testimony at punishment, the jury learned that she began to use marihuana at the age of eight and was already using heroin intravenously by age ten. She continued to use drugs, both legal and illegal, up until the time she was arrested for the murder of Dean. Her use of drugs was so extensive that one expert stated she had probably been off drugs for only two weeks out of her entire life. During the two days before the killings, appellant had been taking Valium, Placidyl, Percodan, Soma, Wygesic, Dilaudid, and methamphetamine. In her own words, appellant was “wired.”

At the close of the penalty phase, appellant submitted a charge in writing, specifically requesting an instruction on § 8.04. The court first charged the jury that they could take into consideration all evidence submitted at the guilt/innocence phase as well as that adduced at punishment. The court then charged the jury pursuant to § 8.04, supra, as follows: Evidence of temporary insanity of the defendant caused by intoxication may be introduced by the defendant in mitigation of the penalty attached to the offense for which she is being tried. Intoxication means disturbance of mental or physical capacity resulting from the introduction of any substance into the body. Temporary insanity caused by intoxication means that the defendant's mental capacity was so disturbed from the introduction of a substance into her body that the defendant did not know that her conduct was wrong or was incapable of conforming her conduct to the requirements of the law she allegedly violated. Therefore, if you find, or have a reasonable doubt thereof, that the defendant at the time of the commission of the offense for which she is on trial, was laboring under temporary insanity caused by intoxication, then you may take such condition into consideration in mitigation of the penalty attached to the offense for which the defendant is being tried.

Appellant argues the above charge allowed the jury to consider her drug use and intoxication on the date of the killings as mitigation of punishment only if they first found her voluntary intoxication rose to the level of temporary insanity. This limitation impermissibly limited the mitigating significance the jury could have given it. In Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586, 98 S.Ct. 2954, 57 L.Ed.2d 973 (1978), the Supreme Court held the penalty of death to be qualitatively different from any other sentence. “[T]his qualitative difference between death and other penalties calls for a greater degree of reliability when the death sentence is imposed.” Id., 438 U.S. at 604, 98 S.Ct. at 2964, 57 L.Ed.2d at 989. “[A] statute that prevents the sentencer ... from giving independent mitigating weight to aspects of the defendant's character and record and to circumstances of the offense proffered in mitigation creates the risk that the death penalty will be imposed in spite of factors which may call for a less severe penalty. When the choice is between life and death, that risk is incompatible with the commands of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.” Id.

Although appellant was not prevented from introducing mitigating evidence, the above instruction required the jury to find her intoxication at the time of the killings rendered her temporarily insane before they could consider her drug use in mitigation of her punishment. The charge on its face instructed the jury to consider the mitigating evidence only in this light, thereby implying that it may not have been considered for any other purpose. FN4 Appellant maintains she is entitled to whatever mitigating significance the jury might choose to give the fact of her intoxication, irrespective of whether it rose to the level of temporary insanity. However, we need not reach the merits of her contention.

FN4. While the trial court may not have needed to give any charge, Arnold v. State, 742 S.W.2d 10, 14 (Tex.Cr.App.1987); Cordova v. State, 733 S.W.2d 175, 190 (Tex.Cr.App.1987), it could not give an improperly limiting one (if such was in fact what was given).

The record reflects that appellant insisted upon the charge on § 8.04, and the court submitted her instruction exactly as she had requested it. It is well established that when a defendant requests a charge, and the court submits it, he can not complain of that charge on appeal. Plante v. State, 692 S.W.2d 487 (Tex.Cr.App.1985); Gutierrez v. State, 659 S.W.2d 423 (Tex.Cr.App.1983). Even if the charge is later found to be erroneous, the accused can not first invite error and then complain about it on appeal. Cadd v. State, 587 S.W.2d 736 (Tex.Cr.App.1979); Livingston v. State, 739 S.W.2d 311 (Tex.Cr.App.1987). Because appellant's charge on voluntary intoxication was submitted precisely as she had requested, any error was invited. Appellant's third point of error is overruled.

In her fourth point of error, appellant claims the trial court erred by admitting into evidence the tape recorded conversation between herself, Danny Garrett and Danny's brother, Doug. Appellant complains that since Danny refused to testify at her trial, his statements should either have been deleted or redacted. The trial court's failure to do so, she asserts, placed before the jury incriminating statements by appellant's codefendant, implicating her while depriving her of any opportunity to confront or crossexamine him.

As we stated previously, a defendant's right to confront and crossexamine the witnesses against him is fundamental to a fair trial. Nowhere is this right more crucial than where incriminating extrajudicial statements of codefendants are used against each other at trial. “Not only are the incriminations devastating to the defendant but their credibility is inevitably suspect, a fact recognized when accomplices do take the stand.... The unreliability of such evidence is intolerably compounded when the alleged accomplice ... does not testify and cannot be tested by cross-examination. It was against such threats that the Confrontation Clause was directed.” Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123, 88 S.Ct. 1620, 20 L.Ed.2d 476 (1968).

The right to confront and crossexamine witnesses promotes reliability in criminal trials. Lee v. Illinois, 476 U.S. 530, 541, 106 S.Ct. 2056, 2062, 90 L.Ed.2d 514, 526 (1987). “[T]he mission of the Confrontation Clause is to advance a practical concern for the accuracy of the truth-determining process in criminal trials by assuring that ‘the trier of fact [has] a satisfactory basis for evaluating the truth of the prior statement.’ ” Dutton v. Evans, 400 U.S. 74, 89, 91 S.Ct. 210, 220, 27 L.Ed.2d 213, 227 (1970), citing California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 161, 90 S.Ct. 1930, 1936, 26 L.Ed.2d 489, 499 (1970). This truthfinding function of the Confrontation Clause is threatened when an accomplice's confession is sought to be introduced against a criminal defendant without the benefit of crossexamination. Especially suspect are the post arrest statements of a codefendant. “ ‘Due to his strong motivation to implicate the defendant and to exonerate himself, a codefendant's statements about what the defendant said or did are less credible than ordinary hearsay evidence.’ ” Lee v. Illinois, supra, citing Bruton v. United States, supra, 391 U.S. at 141, 88 S.Ct. at 1631, 20 L.Ed.2d at 476.

In Lee v. Illinois, supra, the defendant gave a statement to police in which she confessed to the murders of her Aunt Beedie and Odessa Harris. Her boyfriend, Thomas, at first refused to talk to police, but later confessed after prompting by defendant. Thomas' version of the killings indicated that he and the defendant had planned the murder of her aunt, contrary to defendant's account. The trial court relied heavily upon Thomas' confession at the couple's joint trial to rebut defendant's theories of sudden passion and self-defense. Since Thomas had invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent at trial, defendant was unable to crossexamine him. The Supreme Court held that the trial court's reliance on Thomas' confession as substantive evidence violated her rights under the Confrontation Clause. Thomas' confession, although “interlocking” somewhat with defendant's, was presumptively unreliable, and did not bear sufficient indicia of reliability to overcome that presumption.

Appellant here appears to be arguing that the tape was hearsay and did not come within the coconspirator's exception; ergo, its admission violated her confrontation rights. We find this argument to be misplaced, as hearsay and confrontation are not necessarily coextensive. The Supreme Court has held that the constitutional right to confrontation does not require that hearsay evidence can never be introduced. See Dutton v. Evans, 400 U.S. 74, 80, 91 S.Ct. 210, 215, 27 L.Ed.2d 213, 222 (1970), and cases cited therein. “[E]ven if certain hearsay evidence does not fall within a ‘firmly rooted hearsay exception’ and is thus presumptively unreliable and inadmissible for Confrontation Clause purposes, it may nonetheless meet Confrontation Clause reliability standards if it is supported by a ‘showing of particularized guarantees of trustworthiness.’ ” Lee v. Illinois, supra, 476 U.S. at 543, 106 S.Ct. at 2064, 90 L.Ed.2d at 528, citing Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56, 66, 100 S.Ct. 2531, 2539, 65 L.Ed.2d 597, (1980).

The State urges that defendant's statements on the tape were admissible as adoptive admissions.FN5 We find this argument to be persuasive. Adoptive admissions have been recognized for years by the federal courts and are not hearsay under their rules.FN6 Unlike the defendant in *536 Lee v. Illinois, supra, appellant was present at all times during the conversation, and she did not contradict Danny's statements. Under this theory, appellant, because she acquiesced to statements which would otherwise have called for a response, adopted Danny's admissions as her own. Because the statements were not the product of custodial interrogation, Danny lacked any desire, motive or impulse to distort the facts to appellant's detriment, one of the evils inhering in the codefendant's statement in Lee, which rendered it unreliable. For the same reasons underlying the hearsay exception, we find appellant's presence and acquiescence in Danny's statements to be a sufficient guarantor of reliability as to obviate any possible confrontation problem.FN7 Thus, Danny's statements need not have been redacted or deleted.FN8 Appellant's “adoptive admission” of Danny's statements was sufficiently reliable so as to enable the jury satisfactorily to evaluate its truthfulness. Accordingly, we overrule appellant's fourth point of error.

FN5. The State refers to this exception as the “Crestfield Doctrine.” In Crestfield v. State, 471 S.W.2d 50 (1971), we held that “[w]here a statement or remark is made in defendant's presence, which he understood and which called for a reply, his silence or acquiescence may be shown as a confession where he was not under arrest.” Id. at 53. This rule has now been codified as R. 801(e)(2)(B), Tex.R.Crim.Evid., and provides that a statement is not hearsay if it is offered against a party and is a statement of which he has manifested his adoption or belief in the truth.

FN6. Where the trial court admits a recording containing “reciprocal and integrated utterance[s]” between two parties, which were adopted by the defendant, the Confrontation Clause will not be violated. United States v. Lemonakis, 485 F.2d 941, (D.C.Cir.1973). The trial judge should hear the recordings outside the presence of the jury in order to rule on objections to their admissibility, and has the power to delete objectionable portions if necessary. Id. at 949. See also, United States v. Smith, 600 F.2d 149, 152 (8th Cir.1979) (tape recordings of coconspirators made in presence of defendant held admissible as adoptive admissions); United States v. Kenny, 645 F.2d 1323, 1340 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 920, 101 S.Ct. 3059, 69 L.Ed.2d 425 (1981) (statements by government informant on tape recorded telephone conversation held to have been adopted by defendant under rule of adoptive admissions); United States v. Murray, 618 F.2d 892, 900 (2nd Cir.1980) (government informant's statements on tape held to be part of “reciprocal and integrated” conversation with defendant, and as such did not violate Confrontation Clause).

FN7. We need not determine whether the appellant's statements came within the coconspirator's exception to the hearsay rules, as they were otherwise admissible as adoptive admissions. Admission of the tape did not distort the truth finding process if it possessed sufficient indicia of reliability. Compare the reliability of the statements contained on the tape with the testimony of Donna Wages, in points of error one and two, supra. We found her statement lacked any indicia of reliability because it was hearsay and totally uncorroborated by any other evidence. This case is easily distinguishable from Lee v. Illinois. The tape was made shortly before the arrest of appellant and Danny, at the couple's home, so the statements were not the product of custodial interrogation. Thus, Danny had no reason to give a statement inculpating the appellant and exculpating himself because they were not made after the arrest. The evil in Lee v. Illinois, supra, was that Thomas, because his confession was obtained only after the defendant had implicated him in the murders, would have a motive to distort the truth in order to mitigate his own culpability or to overstate her involvement. Here, neither a motive to inculpate appellant nor to seek retaliation for implicating her codefendant is present. Appellant was with Danny at all times, and had ample opportunity to rebut or deny any statements he might have made. Because there was no distortion of the truth finding process, there were sufficient indicia of reliability to rebut the presumption of unreliability. Where there is a high degree of reliability, the accuracy of the truth determining process in criminal trials is actually advanced, and there is no violation of the Confrontation Clause. See United States v. Inadi, 475 U.S. 387, 106 S.Ct. 1121, 1127, 89 L.Ed.2d 390 (1987).

FN8. The trial court, during appellant's motion to suppress, seemed to accept the adoptive admissions theory. The judge stated, “There's an admission against penal interest that was made outside of this Courtroom that was not the result of custodial interrogation. If this had been simply a tape recording of Mr. Garrett confessing and implicating Karla Tucker, there's no question that would be suppressed. However, you have an additional factor of two co-conspirators, or of two co-defendants, in the presence of one another, both making inculpatory statements to a third party.” (Emphasis added)

In her final two points of error, appellant contends that the trial court erred by refusing to define “deliberately” at the punishment phase, and that special issue one is unconstitutional because it duplicates a necessary element of the crime. Appellant argues in her fifth point that “deliberately” means something other than intentional conduct, and therefore requires the term be defined by the court in its charge on punishment. Paradoxically, she then asserts in her sixth point that the legislature intended the term “deliberate” to be synonymous with the culpable mental state for murder, namely intentionally and knowingly; ergo, special issue one fails to narrow the class of persons eligible for imposition of the death penalty compared to others convicted of murder.

Addressing the former contention, we observe that this Court has repeatedly held the trial court need not define “deliberately” in its charge at the penalty phase of a capital murder trial. Russell v. State, 665 S.W.2d 771, 780 (Tex.Cr.App.1983). Because that term is not statutorily defined, it “is to be understood in its usual acceptation in common language....” See e.g., Rector v. State, 738 S.W.2d 235, 244 (Tex.Cr.App.1987). FN9. This writer adheres to his dissenting opinions in Russell v. State, supra, at 784, and Morin v. State, 682 S.W.2d 265, 270 (Tex.Cr.App.1984), as well as Judge Duncan's concurring opinion in Lane v. State, 743 S.W.2d 617, 631 (Tex.Cr.App.1987).

As for appellant's final claim, we have previously held that “deliberate” and “intentional” have different meanings for the purposes of our capital sentencing scheme. In Heckert v. State, 612 S.W.2d 549 (Tex.Cr.App.1981), we opined that if “deliberately and intentionally and knowingly were linguistic equivalents, ... Art. 37.071(b)(1), ... would be a useless thing in that a finding of an intentional or knowing murder would be irreconcilable with a finding that the defendant's conduct was not committed deliberately. We will presume that the Legislature would not have enacted Art. 37.071(b)(1), ... had it intended for a finding of deliberateness to be based upon the same standard as that of intentional or knowing.” Id. at 552-53. See also Felder v. State, 758 S.W.2d 760 (Tex.Cr.App.1988), and cases cited, at 769. Appellant's fifth and sixth points of error are overruled.

The judgment is affirmed.