Thursday, May 10, 2007

Moreno's execution in Texas stayed today

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Jose Angel Moreno won a stay today, hours before his scheduled execution for the abduction and fatal shooting of a San Antonio college student more than two decades ago.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered further review of mitigating evidence on a 5-3 vote.

His attorneys argued that Moreno's jury was unable to consider evidence of a troubled childhood and other mitigating issues that could have influenced them to give Moreno a life sentence instead of death.

The appeal was based on a Supreme Court decision two weeks ago in three other Texas cases where justices ruled instructions to jurors were improper, attorney Scott Sullivan said.

The court had voted 4-4 on the appeal Wednesday night, with one judge abstaining, meaning the request to stop the execution was "neither granted nor denied," Sullivan said. He asked the court to reconsider, and the request was granted today.
Next week, Charles Smith, 41, is scheduled be executed in Texas.

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