Texas death row inmate requests new trial, saying judge is antisemitic

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A Texas death row inmate who was part of the “Texas 7” gang, could be granted a new trial considering evidence whether the judge at his trial carried antisemitic beliefs.

Dallas Criminal District Judge, Lela Mays, leads the recommendation with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on whether Randy Halprin, who is Jewish, should receive a new trial due to judicial bias from trial judge Vickers Cunningham. Halprin was originally scheduled to be executed on Oct. 10, 2019.

In a signed order with 283 Judicial District of Dallas County, Judge Mays found that Halprin’s relief should be granted, stating “Halprin has raised claims of judicial bias, alleging that his trial judge, Vickers Cunningham, was biased against him because Halprin is Jewish.”

Evidence shows Cunningham has “deep-seated animosity and prejudice towards Jewish people” and that he has a “long history of making offensive and derogatory remarks about Jewish people and other racial and religious minorities.”

Halprin appeared back in court on July 14, where his lawyers argued whether Cunningham was prejudiced against him at his 2003 trial, WFAA reports.

FILE - Randy Halprin, who was part of the so-called “Texas 7” gang who escaped from prison in 2000 and was convicted in the murder of an Irving police officer, enters the 283rd Judicial District Court on July 14, 2021, at Frank Crowley Courthouse in Dallas. A state district judge on Monday, Oct. 11 said the Jewish death row inmate should get a new capital murder trial because the judge who presided over his case held anti-Semitic views. (Juan Figueroa/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File) ORG XMIT: TXDAM601
FILE - Randy Halprin, who was part of the so-called “Texas 7” gang who escaped from prison in 2000 and was convicted in the murder of an Irving police officer, enters the 283rd Judicial District Court on July 14, 2021, at Frank Crowley Courthouse in Dallas. A state district judge on Monday, Oct. 11 said the Jewish death row inmate should get a new capital murder trial because the judge who presided over his case held anti-Semitic views. (Juan Figueroa/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File) ORG XMIT: TXDAM601

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Cunningham has been in the spotlight before due to remarks he made when running in the Republican primary for a Dallas County commissioner’s seat in 2018. He told Dallas Morning News that he strongly supports traditional family values and if his children “marry a person of the opposite sex that’s Caucasian, that’s Christian, they will get a distribution.”

Court records show Tammy McKinney, who grew up with Cunningham, regularly heard him use offensive language against Jews.

By the time the case went to trial, it was widely known that Halpin was a Jewish man, according to the court documents.

Halpin was already serving a 30-year sentence for injury to a child before the Christmas Eve robbery in 2000. Halprin and six other inmates escaped from the Connally Unit in South Texas and robbed an Oshmam’s Sporting Goods, resulting in the killing of Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins, NBC News reported.

This is an ongoing case.

Follow Keira Wingate on Twitter: @KeiraRenee

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas death row inmate request new trial, claims judge is antisemitic

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