Moved by emotional pleas, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice on Friday tentatively approved a plan to allow close relatives of murder victims to witness executions.
The board delayed final action for at least two months to give Attorney General Dan Morales time to determine if the action is within the board’s authority or would require a change in state law.
Although Morales hasn’t ruled on the proposal’s legality, he and Gov. George W. Bush have both said they favor allowing victims’ relatives to attend the executions of their loved ones’ killers.
Texas state law allows executions to be viewed by certain public officials, reporters and as many as five family members of the condemned.
A bill that would have expanded that list to include relatives of murder victims died during the recent legislative session.