Female Texas Inmate Loses Last Appeal

9-13-05 - Unlike last year, condemned Texas inmate Frances Newton can't count on the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to spare her from the death chamber Wednesday.

The panel, in a 7-0 vote Monday, refused to recommend the 40-year-old Houston woman's death sentence be commuted to life.

"Newton's claims of innocence were not substantiated," the board said in a statement released by presiding officer Rissie Owens.

The decision came hours after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused appeals aimed at halting Newton's punishment for the slayings of her husband and two small children 18 years ago at their Houston apartment.

"I think both the 5th Circuit and the parole board have been misled by something state keeps saying, proving that if you say something over and over again, even if it's not true, people will believe it," said David Dow, Newton's lawyer.