Monday, November 18, 2002


Busy week ahead for Texas death chamber

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A convicted cop killer and two men condemned for multiple murders faced execution this week on three consecutive nights as the Texas death chamber was readied for its busiest week in almost two years.

"It's become an assembly line of death," said Craig Ogan, the first of the three men set to die.

If the three lethal injections are carried out, and if two other punishments set for December take place, Texas would finish with 34 executions this year.

That would be double the total of a year ago but in line with the 30-plus executions in recent years -- 37 in 1997, 35 in 1999 and a record 40 in 2000.

At least eight executions already are scheduled for 2003, including six in January.

This week's condemned offenders include:

--Ogan, 47, facing the needle Tuesday evening for the 1989 slaying of Houston police officer James Boswell.

--William Chappell, 66, Wednesday for a 1989 shooting spree that left three people dead as they slept in their Fort Worth home. Chappell would be the oldest person put to death in Texas since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in December 1982.

-- James Lee Clark, 34, Thursday for the 1993 shooting rape, robbery and murder of a 17-year-old Denton high school student. Another teenager was slain in the same episode.