Death Watch: stays end here? Texas death row comes back to life after calm COVID season – News
State of Texas tries to kill again John Hummel. Found guilty of clubbing his wife and daughter to death in Fort. In 2009, Hummel received a stay of execution last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lethal injection is expected on June 30. His lawyer, Michael mowla, did not disclose the petitions he will file in an attempt to save Hummel’s life, but has highlighted his client’s mental illness in previous appeals, including the effects of the trauma he suffered while serving in as a navy.
The longest-serving death row inmate in the country, Raymond Riles, was sentenced to life in prison on June 9. Riles was locked up for 47 years after murdering a Houston car salesman in 1974, but even prison officials admit he’s deeply psychotic. Because there is no constitutional ban on executing the mentally ill – the only requirement is that they understand why the execution is taking place – the state fed Riles high doses of psychotropic drugs, in the hope of make him sane enough to kill. But Riles continues to believe that the three executions that were scheduled for him and then canceled were in retaliation for his knowledge of “satanic secret societies” within the community. Texas Department of Criminal Justice. the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals eventually overturned his death sentence in April, agreeing with Riles ‘attorneys that the trial jury should have considered Riles’ schizophrenia in 1976. With his new sentence, the Texas Pardons and Parole Board could actually free Riles from jail. His lawyer, Jim marcus UT Capital punishment clinic, told reporters: “If the Pardons and Parole Board sees fit to grant parole, he has a family that can take care of him.”
In addition to determining who gets parole, the BPP may recommend that the governor commute death sentences. But he’s only done it five times in 50 years. Recently, the BPP has turned its back Quintin jones, executed on May 19. Jones killed his great aunt, Berthena bryant, in 1999 when he was a young man drunk on coke. Bryant’s sister, Mattie Long, forgave him and begged Gov. Greg Abbott and the BPP to commute Jones’ sentence to life in prison. Over 180,000 other people around the world have signed a petition demanding the same. The BPP members, who conduct their work in secret and are not even required to meet to vote, have ignored them.
On the same day Jones was executed, the CCA refused in a 5-4 decision to grant a punitive new trial to Terence Andrus, a man with a very similar life story. Like Jones, Andrus grew up amidst violence and substance abuse, struggling with the trauma-induced mental illness that sometimes stems from those childhoods. Like Jones, he committed murder when he was still very young, killing two men in a carjacking in 2012. And like Jones, he had a general counsel who made only one attempt to find and present mitigating evidence of their education. Gretchen sween, Andrus’ current attorney, described what his jury should have heard: “The struggles of his family in a devastated area of downtown Houston at the height of the crack epidemic, when his mother died. is turned to prostitution and drug trafficking to keep the lights on; his role as guardian of his siblings when his mother abandoned her children; [and] her own drug addiction, multiple suicide attempts and a long history of unresolved mental health issues, dating back to being diagnosed with emotional psychosis at age eleven. “
The CCA’s refusal to grant Andrus a punitive new trial is puzzled by the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States essentially ordered them to do so last June, calling the evidence of his miserable childhood “abundant”, “vast”, “compelling”, “powerful” and “myriad”. In refusing to allow a new trial, the CCA called the same evidence “weak”. Sween says she’s taking the case to the Supreme Court.