Supreme Court Rejects Man's Last Appeal
Houston, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/21/2015 --Texas executes more inmates every year than any other state in the United States. On Tuesday, May 12, 2015; the state of Texas performed yet another execution. 32-year-old Derrick Dwayne Charles was put to death by lethal injection when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his last appeal. He was pronounced dead at approximately 6:00 p.m. that evening.
Man Put to Death for Killing of Three People
Almost 13 years ago, in 2003, Derrick Dwayne Charles murdered three people and plead guilty to capital murder charges for killing his 15-year-old girlfriend, her mother, and her grandfather. The murders were brutal, and included a combination of sexual assault, beatings, strangling, and even electrocution. The jury, as opposed to life in prison, chose the death penalty after listening to testimony detailing the violence of the murders, according to reports.
Appeals Filed on Charles' Behalf
Charles' lawyers fought hard on his behalf, filing numerous appeals to try to prevent and delay the execution from moving forward. Charles' attorneys argued that Charles was too mentally incompetent to be subjected to the death penalty. His attorneys also argued that lower courts had denied Charles the funding for a comprehensive health evaluation. A separate appeal argued that Charles' case had been mishandled because the court failed to appoint psychiatric investigators and experts. All of the criminal conviction appeals were preceded by a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus, read more about those here: http://www.hillcriminaldefense.com/criminal-appeals-lawyer/.
According to the Supreme Court decision in Ford vs. Wainwright, capital punishment in prohibited when, "mental illness prevents [a person sentenced to execution] from comprehending the reasons for the penalty or its implications." Despite this precedent, the Supreme Court declined to review the case, sentencing Charles to his death.
Texas Leads U.S. in Executions Every Year
Derrick Dwayne Charles' death does not come as a surprise. In fact, Charles is the seventh person to be executed in Texas in 2015 alone. There are two more executions scheduled in the upcoming weeks.
What to Do if Facing Murder Charges in Houston
For those who are facing murder charges in Houston, retaining a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is key. While Charles' life wasn't spared, hundreds of people charged with murder in Texas who are innocent or mentally incompetent have received reduced sentences thanks to their legal advocates.
Media Contact: Josh Hill
Hill Law Firm
4615 Southwest Fwy #600
Houston, TX 77027