Briseno Receives New Sentencing Hearing

Yesterday, June 9, 2010, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) overturned the death sentence of Jose Briseno. From the Dallas Morning News:

“The court ruled jurors who decided Jose Briseno should be put to death didn’t have enough information in their instructions from the trial judge to make their decision. At the time of Briseno’s 1992 trial, the rules regarding instructions for capital murder juries were evolving to comply with U.S. Supreme Court decisions.”

In recent years, numerous inmates have received new sentencing hearings on similar grounds.

Briseno had received a stay from the CCA on April 7, 2009, the day of his scheduled execution, to consider whether the jury was able to give proper weight to the mitigating evidence of childhood deprivation, abandonment by his parents, limited intellectual functioning, alcoholism, drug abuse, and lifelong poverty. Briseno was convicted in 1992 of the robbery and murder of Sheriff Ben Murray.

He faces a new punishment hearing in Zavala County (Laredo). Prosecutors have the option of not pursuing another death sentence in this case.

Read the entire article.