Friday, April 30, 2010


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA), the state’s highest appellate court for criminal cases, has ruled that an inmate who has been roosting on death row for 20 years, should be given a new punishment phase in the trial court because the jury that sentenced him to death did not get to consider the mitigating circumstances of his upbringing.

The TCCA found that the U.S. Supreme Court clearly ruled subsequent to the defendant’s trial that jurors must be instructed to consider a lifetime of poverty in a crime-infested neighborhood as a mitigating factor before deciding whether or not to assess the death penalty.

The TCCA ruled that the defendant was ‘egregiously harmed’ during the punishment phase of his trial because the jury was not allowed to consider his unhappy upbringing, his exposure to violence and his addiction to drugs before rendering its decision.

Although his mother and sister testified during the punishment phase that their darling son and brother grew up in a crime-ridden Houston neighborhood, lived in a home crammed with 13 other souls, was exposed to violence and developed an addiction to drugs and alcohol, the jury was not allowed to take his woeful young life into consideration.

This poor ghetto victim had spent the day smoking crack cocaine. That night he went out with a woman and encountered a man, shooting him repeatedly with a .22-caliber pistol, stole the small amount of money he found on the body and used it to buy some hot dogs. Oh, by the way, this worthless piece of shit is also serving a life-sentence for committing another capital murder.

It is well known that most judges, including appellate judges, abhor having to pass or rule on death sentences, but this is ridiculous. The judges might as well say that a gang-banger, robber or rapist cannot help himself when he kills someone if the poor slob was brought up under impoverished circumstances in a violent neighborhood. What a crock of shit!

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