The first man sentenced to die in Midland County was Lorenzo Porez, a convicted horse thief who, upon being convicted, fled with his band of bad guys. On their trail was a group of cowboys in pursuit of Porez. Porez turned and fired on the approaching posse, killing one of his pursuers. As a result, he was hanged on the courthouse lawn in November of 1891 after Texas Governor Jim Hogg ultimately refused a stay of execution.
So what's the connection between Porez and Young, other than the obvious? And why does a man convicted of a double murder nine years ago figure into our city's history? It's certainly not because of the murders or the notoriety that came with them, but instead because of the leniency of Midland juries throughout time.
When convicted, Young became only the fifth person sentenced to die by Midland juries. That's one death sentence handed down by Midland juries every 25 years. In comparison, Abilene has put almost 30 people to death in roughly the same time span since its incorporation.
Judge John Hyde, a Midland historian and district court judge, frequently talks about the character of the people in Midland, in fact he was instrumental in providing the inspiration for the title "A History of Character: The Story of Midland, Texas." That high character has been witnessed repeatedly in the sentences handed down by Midland juries.
Pictured: A copy of the executive order refusing the stay of execution of Lorenzo Porez in 1891 by Texas Governor Jim Hogg.