26 September 2019 :
Robert Sparks, 45, Black, was executed. Sparks had been sentenced to death in 2008 (see HoC 11/12/2008) for the September 2007 killing of his wife, Chare Agnew, 30, and his two stepsons – Harold Sublet Jr., 9, and Raeqwon Agnew, 10. Then, he has told police, he raped his two stepdaughters, who were 12 and 14 at the time. He tried to justify his actions by telling police and reporters that Ms. Agnew was putting insecticide in his food to poison him and that the boys helped her. Sparks' lawyers had argued he suffered from severe mental illness and had been diagnosed as a delusional psychotic and with schizoaffective disorder, a condition characterized by hallucinations. A psychologist hired by Sparks' attorneys said in an affidavit this month that Sparks "meets full criteria for a diagnosis of" intellectual disability. On Tuesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stop his execution on claims he's intellectually disabled, saying his attorneys had not presented sufficient evidence to show Sparks is mentally disabled and his attorneys had failed to raise such a claim in a timely manner. Sparks became the seventh inmate put to death this year in Texas, the 565th person executed in Texas since the state resumed executions in 1982, the 16th this year in the U.S. and the 1,506th person executed in the United States since 1977.