Important decisions in two North Texas death penalty-related cases were announced last Friday: A State District Judge in Dallas determined that John Battaglia is mentally competent to be executed, while a Tarrant County jury imposed a new death sentence for the first time in more than two years.
A Brazos County judge recently deemed that Marcus Druery is incompetent to be executed due to evidence of his severe mental illness, which prevents him from understanding why he is being punished. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Druery a stay just days before his scheduled execution on August 1, 2012 and later ordered a competency hearing.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will consider the case of Scott Panetti, who faced execution last year by the State of Texas despite his long, documented history of severe mental illness. Panetti holds a fixed delusional belief that the State seeks to execute him to prevent him from preaching the gospel.
Last night, the State of Texas carried out its seventh execution of the year, putting Derrick Charles to death for the murders of his 15-year-old girlfriend, Myiesha Bennett, her mother Brenda Bennett, and her grandfather, Obie Lee Bennett in 2002 in Harris County. Charles was 19 years old at the time. According to his attorneys […]
Barring intervention by the courts, Derrick Charles is scheduled to be put to death by the State of Texas tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. He was convicted of killing his 15-year-old girlfriend, Myiesha Bennett, her mother Brenda Bennett, and her grandfather, Obie Lee Bennett in 2002 in Harris County. Charles was 19 years old at […]