Supreme Court declines to hear appeal of Jewish death row inmate in Texas

(JTA) — The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a Jewish death row inmate in Texas who says his judge was anti-Semitic.

Randy Halprin, 42, had been scheduled to be executed on Oct. 10, 2019 but was granted a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals four days before. He was part of the “Texas 7” group of prisoners who escaped from a prison in the state in 2000 and were convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer who responded to a robbery they committed. Four of them have already been executed.

The Supreme Court did not grant Halprin’s petition for a writ of certiorari on Monday, Courthouse News Service reported. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a four-page opinion that the allegations, while “deeply disturbing,” must first be reviewed by the state trial court. Halprin’s judicial-bias claim is currently awaiting review.

In May 2019, Halprin said in an appeal that the judge who sentenced him in 2003, Vickers Cunningham, referred to him using anti-Semitic slurs, including “f****n’ Jew” and “g*****n k**e.”

The Dallas Morning News reported in 2018 that Cunningham, who is white, rewarded his children with a trust if they married someone who is white, Christian and of the opposite sex.

Halprin, who was serving a 30-year sentence for injuring a child at the time of his escape, has said he did not fire his gun the night Officer Aubrey Wright Hawkins was shot 11 times and run over.

“We will continue to seek a new, fair trial for Mr. Halprin,” his attorney, Tivon Schardl, said in a statement sent to reporters on Monday.