Thursday, October 06, 2005

Johnny Paul Penry

Great news! The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned Johnny Paul Penry's death sentence and remanded it to the trial court for a new punishment trial. The Court held that the jury in Penry's most recent retrial may not have considered his claims of mental impairment.

Penry was convicted of the 1979 murder of Pamela Carpenter to which he confessed. His IQ is reportedly below 70, although prosecutors have long argued that Penry's other social issues have prevented him from properly taking the IQ test (I wonder, did his lower IQ play a part in that confession? hmm). The United States Supreme Court already reversed Penry's sentence on two separate occasions (in 1989 and 2001) and the reasoning in those opinions has changed the way courts instruct juries in capital cases.

One has to wonder if the State of Texas will ever just give up and let Penry live his life out in a maximum security prison somewhere.

Texas court overturns death sentence

No comments: