Racial Bias Appeal Request By Inmate Who Ate His Own Eye Is Denied By Court
On Tuesday, a divided Supreme denied an appeal from a Black Texas death row inmate. He stated that he didn’t get a fair trial because jurors who found him guilty were opposed to interracial marriage.
The court’s three liberal justices dissented from the court’s order that refused to hear an appeal from Andre Thomas. Thomas was given a death sentence for killing his estranged wife, who was white, and two children, in 2004.
“No jury deciding whether to recommend a death sentence should be tainted by potential racial biases that could infect its deliberations or decision. Particularly where the case involved an interracial crime.” This was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson concurred.
The case had been handed to an all-white jury where three people had stated that they didn’t agree with interracial marriage. One juror even wrote on a questionnaire that, “I think we should stay with our Blood Line.”
Thomas’ trial attorney didn’t try to prevent those three people from serving on the jury and never asked two or them about their views, Sotomayor wrote. One juror did state that they could be fair despite their views.
Sotomayor expressed that Thomas’ conviction should be overturned.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had previously denied Thomas’ accusations that his attorney didn’t provide competent representation. They also denied that Thomas shouldn’t be executed because he is mentally ill.
Thomas admitted to killing his wife, 20-year-old Laura Christine Boren, their 4-year-old son, Andre Lee, and their daughter, Lehya Marie Hughes, who was 13 months old. Thomas had claimed that God told him to kill his family. The dead had been stabbed, and their hearts had been torn out.
After being in jail for five days, Thomas cut out one of his own eyes. When he was on death throw in 2009, he took out his other eye and told authorities that he ate it.
No execution date has been set for Thomas, as of yet.
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