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Friday, March 20, 2009

Texas Court Says Death Row Inmate who Ate Eye "is clearly 'crazy,' but he is also 'sane' under Texas law,"

From the Austin American-Statesman:

A condemned Texas inmate with a history of mental problems who removed his only eye and ate it in a bizarre outburst several months ago on death row lost an appeal Wednesday at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Andre Thomas, 26, raised 44 claims in his petition to the state's highest criminal court, challenging his conviction and death sentence for the slaying of his estranged wife's 13-month-old daughter five years ago in Grayson County in North Texas. His wife and their 4-year-old son were killed in the same attack. Thomas plucked out his right eye five days after his arrest.

Thomas "is clearly 'crazy,' but he is also 'sane' under Texas law," Judge Cathy Cochran wrote in a statement accompanying the court's order upholding Thomas' conviction and punishment.

Among the claims in the appeal, Thomas' attorneys argued that instructions to his trial jury were incorrect regarding the law on voluntary intoxication and that the instruction should not have been given because it suggested his drug and alcohol use and not insanity was responsible for his actions.

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