Legendary Harris County prosecutor talks about death row

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by Len Cannon / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 5 at 11:20 PM

HOUSTON --  Far from the bustle and dangers of the big city, we visited Johnny Holmes on his Ranch. He still has his Moustache, and he’s still prickly. 

“I am not surprised that there are folks that don’t like me worth a damn,”  The former Harris County prosecutor said.   

Holmes was both despised and admired.  For 21 years he was the no-nonsense Harris County D.A.,  whose office helped send 200 people to death row, far more than any D.A. in the country.

Death penalty critics howled, but Holmes never backed down.

Cannon: “Is the death penalty justice or revenge?

Holmes: An eye for an eye, if you kill somebody the state of Texas is going to put you to it.

John B. Holmes learned right from wrong early, he was raised in Houston by a strict father.

“They were his rules and you better follow them, or there would be severe consequences that you found unpleasant,” Holmes said.

He played football at UT, became a commercial pilot, then went to law school at U of H, but his enduring legacy is the death penalty.

 

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