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Arlington Man On Death Row 3 Decades Loses Appeal

Texas death chamber execution gurney. (credit: AP)

Texas death chamber execution gurney. (credit: AP)

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HOUSTON (AP) - Texas’ highest criminal court has rejected an appeal from a former Arlington man on death row 30 years for the execution-style shooting deaths of four people at an airplane hangar on a North Texas ranch.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday refused a Grayson County judge’s recommendation that jurors in 1984 who sent Lester Bower to death row had no way to consider mitigating evidence of his good behavior and non-violent past.

The appeals court also rejected Bower’s arguments of actual innocence, that prosecutors improperly withheld evidence at his trial and dismissed a claim that executing the 66-year-old now after so long on death row would be unconstitutionally cruel.

Prosecutors built a circumstantial case surrounding Bower’s 1983 purchase of an ultralight airplane from one of the four victims.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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