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MARC Record for Leonel Herrera Collection

Created by Emily McCabe 2018

Field Tags Indicators Content
040 DACS
100 1 |a Ellis, Norma Herrera |d 1954 - 2008
245 1 0 |a Herrera Collection |b from the National Death Penalty Archive |g 1954-2007
300 |a 1.27 cu. ft |b family scrapbook, legal documents, personal correspondence,
photographs, VHS tapes
351 |a Organized chronologically
520 2 |a Contains the legal documents, personal papers, and photographs of Herrera
family regarding the case of Leonel Herrera. Also contains notes and
correspondences from Norma Herrera and materials used in writing biography
“Last Words from Death Row: The Walls Unit.”
524 |a Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Leonel Herrera Collection,
1954-2007. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives,
University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York
(hereafter referred to as the Herrera Collection).
545 0 |a Leonel Herrera (1947-1993)was born September 17, 1947. He was the second
of five children born to parents Jose and Maria Herrera in McAllen, Texas. He
attended local schools from 1954-1963, and then in 1967 enlisted in the Armed
Forces of the United States until given an Undesirable Discharge in 1969.

Leonel Herrera was arrested in 1981 and sentenced to die for the shooting to death
of Enrique Carrisalez, a police officer who stopped him for speeding in the Rio
Grande Valley. Leonel Herrera petitioned against the death penalty, eventually
claiming to have additional evidence that proved his innocence and proved that his
late brother, Raul Herrera, committed the murder. The additional evidence was not
accepted by Texas judges, who argued that regardless of what new evidence might
be presented Herrera was given an initial fair trial and therefore the jury’s decision
could not be overturned. The case ultimately went to the Supreme Court of the
United States which denied Herrera’s appeal in the 1993 decision Herrera v.
Collins. The Supreme Court ruled that a claim of innocence does not entitle a
petitioner to habeas corpus relief by way of the Eighth or Fourteenth Amendments.
The State of Texas executed Leonel Herrera on May 12, 1993.

As new evidence presented by Herrera's appeal lawyers could not be presented in

Texas courts 10 years later, the case ultimately went to the Supreme Court of the
United States which denied Herrera's appeal in the 1993 decision Herrera v.
Collins. The State of Texas executed Herrera on May 12, 1993 at 4:49 AM.

A retired nurse, Norma Herrera Ellis (1954-2008), Leonel Herrera’s sister,

published “Last Words from Death Row: The Walls Unit” in 2007. “Last Words
from Death Row: The Walls Unit” is a biography following Leonel Herrera’s trial
and press coverage. Norma Herrera Ellis wrote “Last Words” as part of a promise
to tell her brother’s story. She continued to advocate for his innocence until her
death on January 14, 2008, at age 54.
546 |3 Letters and religious notes |a English and Spanish.
581 0 |3 Legal documents and Herrera family materials |z 9781933449296
555 0 |3 Finding aid |a Finding aids may be located on the ME Grenander repository
website. |u http://...
650 1 0 |a Capital punishment |c Texas
651 0 |a Texas
655 0 |a Records and briefs
655 0 |a Business correspondence
655 0 |a Personal correspondence
655 0 |a Speeches.
655 0 |a Photographs.
655 0 |a Albums (Books).
655 0 |a Legal documents
655 0 |a Clippings
655 0 |a VHS
655 7 |a Death Penalty |2 meg
655 7 |a United States. Supreme Court. |2 meg
655 7 |a Capital Punishment United States |2 meg
655 7 |a Herrera, Leonel |2 meg
700 0 |a Norma Herrera |i Sister of Leonel Herrera |t Last Words From Death Row: The
Walls Unit
700 0 |a Leonel Herrera
800 1 |a Herrera, Leonel |d 1947-1993
852 0 |a University at Albany, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections &
856 4 2 |3 Finding aid |u http://... |z Access the Full Finding Aid