Texas halts execution of inmate who didn’t kill anyone

Washington, Aug 20 (IANS) A Texas court has halted the execution of an inmate who was convicted of murdering a shop worker in 1996, even though his accomplice had pulled the trigger.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday granted him a stay of execution on Friday when everybody, including the prosecuting attorney, agreed that Jeffrey Wood did not kill anyone, CNN reported.

Wood, 43, was to be executed on Wednesday by lethal injection.

In 1996, a 22-year-old Wood waited in a pickup truck while his friend Daniel Reneau went inside a gas station in Kerrville, Texas, to steal the store’s safe. Reneau ended up killing the clerk during the robbery.

Reneau was executed in 2002.

Most states allow a distinction between accomplices and those who physically carry out the crime, CNN reported.

But in Texas, sitting in that truck and taking part in the robbery was enough to get Wood convicted of murder and onto death row.

The two-page order sent two arguments from the defence to the trial court for resolution.

One of the claims argued “false and misleading testimony” was presented by the prosecuting side’s psychiatrist and it was in violation of due process.

The other claimed the judgment also violates due process because it was based on false scientific evidence through “false psychiatric testimony concerning (Wood’s) future dangerousness”, CNN noted.



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