|Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Philip Hilder quoted in The Wall Street Journal article |
Appeals Court Throws Out Stay of Execution in Texas Case
|October 10, 2012 11:58 pm|
The Wall Street Journal:
A federal appeals court has thrown out the stay of execution of a Texas inmate who claimed he was mentally retarded and incompetent to be put to death.
Jonathan Marcus Green was convicted in July 2002 of capital murder in the death of a 12-year-old girl in Texas. A Texas appeals court upheld his sentence and a state court found him in 2010 to be competent to be put to death despite his claims of being mentally retarded.
Earlier this month, a federal district court in Texas halted his execution, finding the state court violated his due process rights in part by preventing him from calling mental health professionals from the Texas prisons to testify about records submitted in the competency hearing.
The judge said evidence from another inmate that Mr. Green's capabilities have deteriorated since the 2010 competency hearing was known well before he asked a federal court to stay his execution in September 2012.
Philip Hilder, Mr. Green's lawyer, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay of his execution.
"The Court of Appeals has clearly overextended its authority and jurisdiction by treating the district court's decision to stay the execution as a decision on the merits," Mr. Hilder said in court papers.
Mr. Hilder said the appeals court "illegitimately reclassified" the issue before it and "erroneously treated" the district court order as a final disposition in his case.
"The distortion of proper procedures resulted in an incoherent order that underscored the need for a stay, so that Mr. Green's claim can be considered through established federal habeas corpus proceedings."
Copyright ©2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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