Texas has a long and active history of executing inmates convicted of crimes deemed heinous enough to merit the ultimate punishment. Now, only capital murder is punishable by death in Texas. In early Texas history, criminals were executed for piracy, burglary, desertion, treason, sexual assault, and of course, murder.

Texas has executed 1,338 people, which I found unsurprising, but I was surprised to learn that this included six pairs of brothers. That seems unusually high- what were these brothers doing (or what were they accused of doing) to make them both eligible to pay such a price? Let's take a look.

Texas death chamber in Huntsville
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Frank & Lorenzo Noel

Executed: July 3, 1925, Electric Chair 

Ages: 23 & 25

From what I can read from a very tiny and blurry old newspaper article, Frank and Lorenzo were black brothers accused of robbery, rape, and murder by a white woman. The men were detained by law enforcement, but an angry mob lacked the patience to see the justice system work out:

In 1925 the jail was besieged by a mob of over 5,000 people, seeking to lynch Frank and Lorenzo Noel, two black men accused of killing a white man and assaulting white women. The rioters fired upon the jail; return fire from Sheriff's deputies killed one of the mob and wounded six others.

Trials and executions were much speedier back then, so the brothers with tried and convicted the next week, transported to Huntsville on May 31st, and executed on July 3rd.


S.A. & Forest Robins

Executed: April 6, 1926, Electric Chair 

Ages: 28 & 26

I could not find much on these brothers, except that like the Noels, they were black and accused of murder and rape. I think it is safe to assume they committed the same crimes at the same time, since they were executed together. I could not find information on the race of identity of their victim(s).


Oscar & Mack Brown

Executed: July 1, 1936, Electric Chair

Ages: 35 & 26

These brothers were convicted of the shooting and beating death of Byron Belschner. His body was found weighed down in a river by an old car engine secured with baling wire. Mack "Coopie" was found with Belscner's car, watch, and other possessions.  Oscar was found to have been an accessory to the crime and was also executed for it. I think because there is a trend here, it should be noted that these brothers were black and their victim was white. It would be naive to not see that race, at least during this time in Texas, seems to play a large factor in the execution of multiple people for the same crime.


Roscoe & Henderson Young 

Executed: May 6, 1938, Electric Chair 

Ages: 18 & 17

These two brothers, black, did not murder anyone, and it is suspected that they did not even commit the crime for which they were executed.

"18-year-old Roscoe Young was convicted of robbery whereas his kin, 17-year-old Henderson Young, was convicted of rape."

"According to the NAACP Archival Records Roscoe and his brother Henderson Young were forced into a confession for a crime they did not do."


Curtis & Danny Harris 

Executed July 1st, 1993 / July 30, 1993, Lethal Injection 

Ages: 31 & 32

These two brothers were accused of holding a man down and beating him to death with a tire iron. "The Good Samaritan" slaying of Timothy Merka happened in 1978 was part of a robbery:

Mr. Merka, 27, an employee of Texas A&M University, was attacked after pulling over to help the Harris brothers fix their car.


Jessie & Jose Gutierrez

Executed September 16, 1994/ November 18, 1999, Lethal Injection 

Ages 29 & 39

These brothers were convicted of the 1989 robbery and murder of a white, female pawn store clerk. They were arrested wearing jewelry from the store and in possession of other items taken in the robbery. Additionally, fingerprint and ballistics analysis identified the brothers and their guns as involved in the crime.

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