The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a last-minute reprieve to Garcia Glen White, a death row inmate scheduled to be executed Wednesday.
White was originally sentenced to death for the 1989 murders of twin 16-year-old sisters Bernette and Annette Edwards. He was also found to have sexually assaulted Bernette after attacking her, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice offender records.
After being denied an appeal by the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2010, White’s attorney continued to file appeals until receiving a reprieve from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today.
According to the appeal filed by White’s attorney, the case should be subject to review based on the argument that White may have been mentally impaired at the time of the attack as well as a suggestion that a second party may have been involved the slayings.
White claims that he was impaired by the effects of long-term cocaine abuse when he attacked the twin girls as well as when he waived his right to an attorney during the initial investigation and resulting interrogations.
The reprieve leaves the question of White’s life in the balance as his appeal and the crimes of which he has been convicted go under review.
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This is FINALLY a great decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals! It is a great sin for White but also for the thousand's who have been incarcerated without their MENS RAE (MENTAL STATE AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME) being accurately considered by the trial court! Since John Hinckley, Jr. won his not guilty by reason of insanity is when PUBLIC OUTCRY swayed the Justice System by the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984. This act has made it virtually impossible for a person with a chronic (life lasting not ever going to get better) disabling mental illness to get a fair trial in the GREAT United States of America BUT especially in Texas or correctly a trial overturned or an appeal considered by the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Thanks so much to The Houstonian for publishing this and to the "SomeOtherPlace on Twitter for mentioning The Houstonian in their daily online paper on #TDCJ The #TDCJ Texas Prison News Daily. Some may or may not like this post but my hope is not whether you like it or me but rather that you as "WE the People" WAKE UP and stop letting someone else be THE CHANGE or let the $ or public outcry be what controls "our so-called democracy".
. In terms of the burden of proof, the requirement is that a jury must have a high degree of certainty before convicting, defined as "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the United States and "sure" in the United Kingdom. It is this reasoning that justifies the defenses of infancy, and of lack of mental capacity under the M'Naghten Rules, an alternate common law rule (e.g., Durham test), and one of various statutes defining mental illness as an excuse. Moreover, if there is an irrebuttable presumption of doli incapax - that is, that the accused did not have sufficient understanding of the nature and quality of his actions – then the requisite mens rea is absent no matter what degree of probability might otherwise have been present.For these purposes, therefore, where the relevant statutes are silent and it is for the common law to form the basis of potential liability, the reasonable person must be endowed with the same intellectual and physical qualities as the accused, and the test must be whether an accused with these specific attributes would have had the requisite foresight and desire.
In English law, s8 Criminal Justice Act 1967 provides a statutory framework within which mens rea is assessed. It states:
A court or jury, in determining whether a person has committed an offense,
(a) shall not be bound in law to infer that he intended or foresaw a result of his actions by reasons only of its being a natural and probable consequence of those actions; but(b) shall decide whether he did intend or foresee that result by reference to all the evidence, drawing such inferences from the evidence as appear proper in the circumstances.
Under s8(b) therefore, the jury is allowed a wide latitude in applying a hybrid test to impute intention or foresight (for the purposes of recklessness) on the basis of all the evidence.