Raymond Lyles, who was sentenced to death for a deadly shooting by a used car dealer in 1976, was withdrawn on Wednesday.
Texas Court of Appeals Liles’ death sentence was removed because the jury was not advised to consider the mental health of the now 70-year-old man when deciding his punishment 45 years ago.
The case is sent back to Harris County, where the court re-decides Liles’ punishment for the 1974 crime.
“We are very happy,” Thea Posel, one of Riles’ lawyers, told Thea. Texas Tribune.. “It is clearly established under Texas and [U.S.] The Supreme Court’s law states that Mr. Liles’ death sentence is unconstitutional. “
Liles was on death row for the longest time in the United States. Marshall Project Reported earlier this year. According to a non-profit organization, he survived three execution days because he was considered “mentally ill and unable to execute the death penalty.”
Liles and Herbert Washington confronted John Thomas Henry over a car he bought in 1974 and shot him for $ 42. Associated Press report. Washington engaged in a judicial transaction and was sentenced to 25 and 50 years in prison. KTRK report.
Liles’ lawyers claimed he was insane and used testimony from his family, psychiatrists, and psychologists to support their claims, court records show.
“These witnesses collectively testified that (Liles) was often mentally ill and suffered from some form of schizophrenia for some time,” the court said. “They commented that (Liles) was legally insane at the time of the crime, and that his mental illness played a role in some of his violent behavior prior to the crime.”
However, the jury refused to defend the madness. The jury, who was not instructed to consider Liles’ mental illness, then had the option of sentenced Liles to death or life imprisonment. It agreed with the death penalty.
The Court of Appeals said in a decision Wednesday that it was “harmful” that the jury was not asked to consider Riles’ mental health in making decisions.
A 1989 Supreme Court ruling The “mental retardation” that has been decided must be considered by the jury during the judgment. But before that, no such instruction was given to the death penalty jury.
“The mental health evidence presented by (Riles) in his trial is considered by both this court and the Supreme Court to be a type of” double-edged “easy evidence that requires a judge instruction focused on separate mitigation. This is the type of evidence that has come to be. “The judge said in a ruling. “The jury (of Liles) did not receive such instructions.”
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg In February, she said she supported Liles being tried for a new punishment.
“The death penalty has evolved to allow juries to meaningfully consider and weigh evidence of mitigation of criminals such as childhood abuse and trauma,” Ogg said. “In 1976, the Liles capital murder jury was not given this opportunity.”
Liles lives in an almost complete cell, and experts call him “terribly psychotic,” the Marshall Project said.
According to The Marshall Project, “He sometimes describes himself as a god or” King Motocherry Belt Love. ” “At other times, he is worried that Satan will be sacrificed by the Devil’s POWs. He once set himself on fire.”