Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Office of the Governor:

An Inventory of Office of the Governor General Counsel Execution Case Files at the Texas State Archives, 1946-1994


Creator: Texas. Office of the Governor.
Title: Office of the General Counsel execution case files
Abstract: Functions of the Texas Governor's Office of the General Counsel include tracking and analyzing the cases of prisoners on death row. Files consist of execution summaries by the Governor's General Counsel or Governor's Office (prior to 1973) and summaries by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) (or by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the BPP), memoranda and correspondence, clemency petitions, affidavits, court documents, notes, records from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmate files, Department of Public Safety criminal history records, clippings, case summaries or similar court reports, citations from legal sources, and death penalty protest letters. Dates covered are 1946-1994. These records contain execution case files of the Office of the General Counsel of Texas Governors Beauford H. Jester, Allan Shivers, Price Daniel, John Connally, Preston Smith, Dolph Briscoe, Bill Clements, Mark White, and Ann Richards created to track the cases of death row inmates and to document actions by the courts, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the governor through appeals, requests for stays of execution, or clemency.
Quantity: 2.75 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in part with funds provided by the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board for the Texas Archival Resources Online project.

Agency History

The governor of Texas is the chief executive officer of the state, elected by the citizens every four years. The duties and responsibilities of the governor include serving as commander-in-chief of the state's military forces; convening special sessions of the legislature for specific purposes; delivering to the legislature at the beginning of each regular session a report on the condition of the state, an accounting of all public money under the governor's control, a recommended biennial budget, an estimate of the amounts of money required to be raised by taxation, and any recommendations he deems necessary; signing or vetoing bills passed by the legislature; and executing the laws of the state. The governor can grant reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons, upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and revoke conditional pardons. He appoints numerous state officials (with the consent of the Senate), fills vacancies in state and district offices (except vacancies in the legislature), calls special elections to fill vacancies in the legislature, fills vacancies in the United States Senate until an election can be held, and serves as ex officio member of several state boards.

The office of governor was first established by the Constitution of 1845 and superseded the office of president of the Republic of Texas. The position now exists under authority of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of 1876 and Texas Government Code, Chapter 401. To be elected governor, a person must be at least thirty years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Texas for at least five years preceding the election. In 1972, the term of office was extended from two to four years, effective in 1975. Since 1856 the governor has had the use of the Governor's Mansion.

The General Counsel position within the Texas Office of the Governor was created in October 1973 when the Executive Director of the Governor's Criminal Justice Division appointed an individual as General Counsel, to assist him in providing statute interpretations and in other matters relating to policies and procedures. Today the Office of the General Counsel is a separate division in the Governor's Office.

Duties of the General Counsel include providing statute interpretations; tracking inmates on death row as their cases move through the judicial process including all appeals to the governor for commutations or stays of execution; handling pardon requests sent to the governor; reviewing proposed settlements, land patents, grant requests, contracts, easements, and deeds for the governor; analyzing proposed legislation and regulations for validity and legal effect; assisting appointments staff in determining eligibility and other legal issues related to proposed appointments; handling extradition and requisition matters; coordinating ethics guidelines and training for the governor's office; advising the governor on federal programs administered by the state; coordinating the governor's criminal justice policy with the governor's Policy Director; and providing legal advice and handling litigation filed against the governor or the Governor's Office, in conjunction with actions of the Attorney General on the governor's behalf.

Scope and Contents of the Records

Functions of the Office of the General Counsel include tracking and analyzing the cases of prisoners on death row. These records are the files of the Office of the Governor and the Office of the General Counsel of Texas Governors that were created to track the cases of death row inmates and document intervention by the courts, the BPP (Board of Pardons and Paroles), and the governor through appeals, requests for stays of execution, or clemency. They contain execution case files of the Texas Governors Beauford H. Jester, Allan Shivers, Price Daniel, John Connally, Preston Smith, Dolph Briscoe, Bill Clements, Mark White, and Ann Richards.. Dates covered are 1946-1994. The files consist of execution summaries by the Governor's General Counsel or Governor's Office (prior to 1973) and summaries by the BPP (or by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the BPP); memoranda and correspondence; clemency petitions; affidavits; court documents (judgments, opinions, appeals, motions, orders, etc.); notes; records from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmate files, including medical or psychological summaries or reports, disciplinary reports, social histories, and other internal reports about specific inmates, police reports, investigative reports of detectives; Department of Public Safety criminal history records; clippings; case summaries or similar court reports; citations from legal sources; and death penalty protest letters. The execution case files document each inmate's case, with some or all of the aforementioned documents. Inmate files with a large amount of records include those of Johnny Will Ford, Howard B. Sticker, Clarence Lee Brandley, Charles Waymon Barnes, and Joseph Lee Saulter.


These records are arranged as received from the creating agency into three major chronological groups (1947-1960, 1958-1982, and 1978-1992) and reverse numerical order by prisoner inmate number within each group.


Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to: agency memoranda and working papers (V.T.C.A., Government Code Section 552.111); social security numbers; common law privacy (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.101); names of recipients of social services (V.T.C.A., Human Resources Code, Title 2, Section 12.003 and/or V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.101); driver's license numbers (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.130); names of juvenile offenders (Texas Family Code, Section 58.005 and/or V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.101); names of victims of sexual assaults (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.101); criminal histories prepared by the Department of Public Safety, information about inmates incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice received from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and information created by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.101 (information confidential by law, Texas Government Code, Section 508.313)); juror information (V.T.C.A., Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 35.29), and crime victim impact statements (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.1325), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapter 552). The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail, fax, or email including enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information requested. (Note: The Governor's Office has requested that the State Archives contact the Open Records Coordinator for the Governor's Office when we receive a Public Information Act request for these records.) If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Researchers are required to wear gloves provided by the Archives when reviewing photographic materials.

Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Texas. Office of the Governor. Office of the General Counsel.
Texas. Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Texas. Dept. of Public Safety.
Texas. Dept. of Criminal Justice.
Executions and executioners--Texas.
Capital punishment--Texas.
Criminal justice, Administration of--Texas.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Petitions--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Legal documents--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Memorandums--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Clippings (information artifacts)--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Judicial records--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Notes--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Reports--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Photographs--Texas--Capital punishment--1946-1994.
Advising Texas governors.
Decision making.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division records, 1973-1990 (bulk 1987-1990), 28 cubic ft.
Texas Governor Mark White, Records, 1947, 1962-1987, undated (bulk 1983-1986), 424.75 cubic ft. (see the series General Counsel files, 1947, 1962-1986, 4.3 cubic ft.)
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Execution case files, 1954-1964, 4.5 cubic ft. [Restricted]
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals execution case files, 1974-2010, 1,141.75 cubic ft.
Texas Governor George W. Bush General Counsel's execution files at the Texas State Archives 1886, 1892, 1903, 1912-1921, 1925, 1932, 1939-2000 (bulk 1986-2000), 68.24 cubic ft.
Dr. Robert P. Pierce Collection, Death row files and assorted prison records and papers, 1877, 1963, 1978-1979, 1982-1995, undated, 1.48 cubic ft.
Texas Governor Allan Shivers records, 1937-1964, 1968, undated (bulk 1949-1956), 561 cubic ft.
Texas Governor Price Daniel records, 1944-1966, undated, bulk 1957-1962, approximately 466 cubic ft.
Texas Governor Beauford H. Jester records, 1946-1949, 84 cubic ft.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Death row inmate files, 1923-1973, 14 cubic ft.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the University of Texas at Austin
Dolph Briscoe papers, 1932-2010, 1,045 ft., 7 in.
Ann W. Richards papers, 1933-2000, ca. 1500 ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Office of the Governor General Counsel execution case files. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 2002/213

Records were transferred from the George Bush Presidential Library to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in July 2002.

Processed by

Jessica Tucker, January 2012

Detailed Description of the Collection

General Counsel's execution case files, 1946-1994,
2.75 cubic ft.

2002/213-1 1947-1960
Williams, George, #419, 1959-1960
Draper, Howard, #417, 1960
Moon, Nearvel, #416, 1960
Moses, George, #414, 1959-1960
Smith, Jesse Doffies, #413, 1959
Williams, Milton, #412, 1958-1959
Slater, Philip, #411, 1958-1959
Blankenship, Alvin Charles, #408, 1958
Thompson, Theodore, #407, 1958
Mack, John Wayne, #406, 1958
White, Charlie, #405, 1958-1957
Wright, John, #403, 1957
Bingham, Leonard, #396, 1956
Pierce, Timothy, #395, 1956
McGarven, Yancy A., #394, 1956-1957
Fite, Flaudell, #393, 1956
Washington, Marion A., #391, 1956
Walker, Tommy Lee, #390, 1954, 1956
Ellisor, Merle Wayne, #389, 1955-1957
Farrar, Carrol, #388, 1952, 1954-1955
Gordon, Johnnie Elwood, #387, 1955
Jackson, Floyd Ray, #386, 1955
Meyer, Henry William, #384, 1955
Butcher, Harry F., #383, 1955
Sampson, Maurice, #380, 1954
Whitaker, Walter E., #379, 1954
Brown, Donald Hawkins, #378, 1954
Rayson, Marvin, #377, 1950
Barnes, Charles Waymon, #376, 1953-1954
[2 folders]
Richardson, Jimmy, #375, 1954
Klinedinst, Charles Edward Mauck, #374, 1954
Gage, Willie Lee, #373, 1954
Green, Walter Collins, #372, 1953-1954
Clark, Charles D., #371, 1953-1954
Allison, Louis, #370, 1953
Farmer, Jack, #369, 1953
Gasway, Samuel James, #368, 1953
Hulen, R.J., #367, 1952-1953
Paris, Alton, #364, 1952
Preston, Major, #362, 1952
Haley, Thomas, #361, 1952
Darious, Golemon, #360, 1952-1953
Savage, Henry, #359, 1952
Johnson, Marvin Eugene, #358, 1952
Reed, Booker T., #357, 1952
Jones, W.K., #355, 1952
Johnson, Robert Lee, #354, 1952
Sims, L.C., #349, 1951
McMurrin, Richard S., #348, 1951
Matthews, Allen, #347, 1951
Edwards, Albert, #346, 1951
Mitchell, Steve, #345, 1951
Robinson, W.D., #343, 1951
Williams, Sam, #342, 1951
Bessard, Morris, #341, 1951
Mouton, Abbie, #339, 1951
Adair, Fred Felix, Jr., #338, 1951
Williams, Allen Conway, #337, 1951
Patterson, J.B., #336, 1950-1951
Price, Thomas Jefferson, #335, 1950-1951
Ross, Herman Lee, #334, 1952
Johnson, Edward Exnoal, Jr., #333, 1950
McFarland, Eugene, #332, 1950
White, Dan, #331, 1950
Pickett, Ben, #330, 1950
Henderson, Porter, #329, 1950
Lewis, Felix, #328, 1950
Ray, William R., #327, 1949-1950
Edwards, Nathaniel, #326, 1950
Bunn, Lee Everett, #325, 1950
Smith, William, Jr., #324, 1950
Gibson, Samuel B., #323, 1949-1950
Morrow, J.W., Jr., #321, 1950
Cleveland, Stovall, Jr., #320, 1948-1949
McClendon, F.M., #319, 1949
Kerzee, General, #318, 1949
Wilson, William, Jr., #317, 1949
Jones, W. Fred, #316, 1949
Blackmon, James Willis, #315, 1949-1950
Northern, Buster, #313, 1949
Larkin, Thomas, #312, 1948
Williams, Thurman, #311, 1948
Moore, Wilson, #310, 1948-1949
Hill, Andrew, #309, 1948
Smith, Cleo, #308, 1948
Brown, Henry, #307, 1948
McCaine, Riley B., #306, 1948
Coleman, John Amos, #304, 1948
Saulter, Joseph Lee, #301, 1948
[2 folders]
Sims, Willie, #300, 1948
Rushing, Clayton, #299, 1948
Johnson, Bennie Louis, #298, 1947-1948
West, Nolan, #297, 1947-1948
Cline, Lonnie Harvey, #296, 1947-1948
Davis, Raymond, #295, 1947
Pearson, Elijah, #294, 1947
Adams, Arthur, #293, 1947
Allen, Charlie, #291, 1947
Norris, William Alfred, #290, 1947
Allen, Oscar, #289, 1947
Wilson, Huey, #288, 1947
Henderson, L.D., #286, 1947
Zachary, P.H., #285, 1946-1947
2002/213-3 1958-1982
Dunn, Thomas Lennon, #782 (commuted to life 4/15/87), 1985
Barrow, Lee Roy, #718 (commuted to life, 02/26/82), 1982
Beasley, Raymond Harold, #697 (commuted to life 12/04/87),1981-1982
Adams, Randall Dale, #602, 1977-1981
Johnson, Joseph, Jr., #453, 1964
O'Connor, Laurence, #452, 1964
Bradford, Bobby Clyde, #449, 1964
Echols, James Andrew, #448, 1963-1964
Parker, Jesse Earl, #447, 1963-1964
Lavan, John, #444, 1963
McIntyre, Bennie Lee, #441, 1962-1963
Gibson, Roscoe, #440, 1962
Sneed, Joe D., #439, 1962-1963
Stein, Bobby Louis, #438, 1962
Mosley, Walter Henry, #437, 1962
Bradley, Herbert Lemuel, #435, 1962
Wilson, Donald Ray, #434, 1961-1962
Luton, Leo Daniel, #432, 1961-1963
Forgey, Charles Louis, #431, 1961-1962
Wiley, Roosevelt, #430, 1961-1962
Leath, Fred Thomas, #429, 1961
Edwards, James, #426, 1961
Johnson, Adrian, #424, 1959-1962
Stickney, Howard B., #423, 1959-1962
[6 folders]
Information on executions, 1972
Supreme Court decision on death penalty (clippings), 1972
SB (Senate Bill) 114, 1971
Execution records, undated, 1964-1967
[3 folders]
Williams, Charles E., #422, 1960-1961
Martinez, Euselio Regalado, #421, 1960
Philpot, Willie Edward, #420, 1959-1960
Holmes, Samuel M., #418, 1959-1960
Shaver, Jimmy N., #404, 1955, 1957-1958
Lamkin, Marshall, #402, 1957-1958
Hall, Wilburn Monroe, #401, 1957
Williams, Junior Lee, #400, 1957, 1960
McHenry, John Edward, #398, 1956
Webb, Leslie, #397, 1956
Cross, James C., 1965
[This individual was not on Death Row.]
Cross, James (clippings), 1965-1976
2002/213-2 Ford, Johnny Will, 1961-1962
[3 folders]
[This individual was not on Death Row.]
(Cases from Gov. Ann Richards' tenure), 1991-1994
[3 folders]
Rice, Tony, #883, 1987
Butler, Jerome, #852, 1974, 1983, 1990
Havard, Patrick Curtis, #809, 1985-1986
Williams, Toby Lynn, #806, 1985-1986, 1992
Smith, Sammie Louis, #791, 1985
Motley, Jeffery Dean, #789, 1985
Marquez, Mario, #776, 1984
Huffman, Jim Davis, #775, 1984
McCoy, Stephen Albert, #769, 1989
Guzmon, Jose Moises, #766, 1985-1987
Cruz, Justin Seven, #765, 1984
Smith, James Edward, #763, 1984, 1990
Wyle, James, III, #757, 1984
Skelton, John, #750, 1983, 1986
Streetman, Robert S., #746, 1986, 1988
Montoya, Ramon, #737, 1983, 1986
Bush, Paul Barry, #726, 1982
Armstrong, Kerry Douglas, #707, 1982
Derrick, Mikel James, #701, 1982, 1989-1990
Bonham, Antonio Nathaniel, #700, 1980-1981, 1983, 1986
Jernigan, Joseph Paul, #699, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1984
Burns, Victor Renay, #693, 1981
Thompkins, Phillip Daniel, #687, 1981
Turner, Joseph Paul, #682, 1981
Ibanez, Efren Castro, #681, 1981
Brandley, Clarence Lee, #680, 1980-1981, 1985-1989
[2 folders]
Williams, Calvin Joseph, #666, 1980-1981, 1985-1986
Wilkerson, Claude Lee, #648, 1979-1980
Dugas, Ovide Joseph, #645, 1979
Buffington, James, G., Sr., #630, 1979
Cass, Mark R., #627, 1979
Roeder, David, Allen, #622, 1975, 1977-1978
Holloway, Emmett Murray, #616, 1978
Thompson, John Russel, #610, 1977-1978, 1985-1986
Starvaggi, Joseph Blaine, #586, 1980
Zimmerman, John Charles, #582, 1977
Crawford, Murriel, Jr., #569, 1976-1977, 1981, 1985
Bravo, Margarito, #567, 1965-167, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1986
Battie, Billy Joe, #548, 1976-1978
Bodde, Gerald Lee, #543, 1976, 1978-1979, 1982-1983, 1986
Chambers, Ronald Curtis, #539, 1976, 1978, 1986
Warren, Don, L., #536, 1974-1975
Jones, Jessie Ray, #531, 1975-1976, 1978
Woodkins, Calvin, #523, 1974-1977