The execution of a Texas death row inmate who cut out his eyes has been delayed after concerns about his mental state
The death of one of Texas’ “most mentally ill inmates” was delayed Tuesday by a judge over concerns about the man’s mental state.
Andre Thomas, 39, was scheduled to be executed on April 5 for the deaths of his wife, Laura Christina Boren, 20, 4-year-old Andre Lee, and Boren’s 13-month-old daughter, Leyha Marie Hughes in 2004. the small town of Sherman. The Associated Press reported that Thomas cut out the hearts of both children.
Thomas, who had his eyes gouged out on two separate occasions, later told police that God commanded him to commit the murders and that he believed the three men who killed him were demons. he suffered.
State District Judge Jim Fallon issued the order on Tuesday delaying the execution date after Thomas’ lawyers asked for more time to prepare for a court hearing to review his ability, according to the AP.
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According to the Supreme Court, a person must be competent to be executed, and although the death penalty is prohibited for people with intellectual disabilities, those with severe mental illness do not have the same exemption. provided automatically.
“We are confident that when we present evidence of Mr. Thomas’ incompetence, the court will agree that his execution would violate the Constitution,” wrote Maurie Levin, Thomas’ attorney. , in a statement to the AP. “Leading this mentally blind man to the gurney for execution offends our sense of humanity and serves no legitimate purpose.”
Thomas’ lawyers have also said that he ate his second eye after he went out to ensure that the government would not hear his views.
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More than 100 people, including religious leaders, have reportedly asked Governor Greg Abbott to stop the execution in the past, but the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office, which accused the case, that those who want slavery have not read reports or assessments about the mind of Thomas. state.
“None of these people know anything about the case. They are referring to what the defense has told them,” Grayson County District Attorney’s Office J. Kerye Ashmore said.
Levin has described her client as “one of the most mentally ill inmates in Texas history,” saying he is “not capable of being executed” and has no rational understanding of why who was sentenced to death.
Ashmore said he has reviewed records that appear to indicate that Thomas was aware of why he was in prison and knew of his April execution date.
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Fallon’s order gives Thomas’ lawyers until July 5 to file a motion requesting that his competency be reviewed before execution, the AP said. If Fallon decides that Thomas’ lawyers have presented enough evidence, experts will be hired to examine Thomas and other evidence would be reviewed before a final decision is made.
“We’re willing to let that process happen and let the judge make the decision. That’s all we want,” Ashmore said.
If granted clemency, Thomas is subject to the law that existed at the time of his crime – life in prison without parole was not an option in Texas in 2004.
Ashmore told KXII in February that if Thomas’ sentence is suspended, he would be eligible for parole in 20 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.