AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday unanimously voted to reject clemency for Christopher Young, a San Antonio man scheduled for execution Tuesday.
The rejection by the board is the second setback for Young this week.
On Wednesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused an appeal to stop the pending execution of Young, who was found guilty of fatally shooting San Antonio convenience store owner Hasmukh Patel nearly 14 years ago.
"We are devastated," said David Dow and Jeff Newberry, attorneys for Young, said in a statement. "Christopher Anthony Young is not the same reckless young man who took the life of Hasmukh Patel.
"Killing Chris on July 17, 2018, will not benefit anyone: Not his two daughters and other family members who love him. Not Mitesh Patel, the son of Hasmukh, who does not want Chris to be executed, and not the adolescents desperately in need of his mentorship."
In response to the board's denial, Young filed a complaint in federal court Friday afternoon, claiming the board violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The complaint cited the board giving a unanimous recommendation for clemency in February to Thomas Whitaker, claiming his case is similar to Young's, but the two men differ in race.
"Young is entitled to a stay of execution so that his lawyers have the opportunity to examine the Board members under oath, and ascertain whether what appears to be the driving force in this case was in fact the driving force -- to determine whether Whitaker received clemency because he is white, while Young did not because he is black," the complaint said.
Gov. Greg Abbott has the authority to grant a one-time, 30-day reprieve.
Sister Helen Prejean, who is known for her tireless work against the death penalty and her bestselling book, "Dead Man Walking," urged Abbott to grant the reprieve.
"Governor, please demonstrate your support for the families of murder victims by granting a reprieve to Chris Young and asking the Pardon Board to reconsider his case," she said in a statement.
You can read her entire statement below.
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