U.S. Supreme Court rejects request to review Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas’ case

 As per the appeal made by the Thomas lawyers to review Texas death row has been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thomas’s lawyers claimed in their appeal that some of the jurors who handed down his sentence had held racist views. The three liberal justices on the court wrote in their dissent that Thomas’s conviction and death sentence were unconstitutional.

The attorneys for Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas argued that members of the jury that found him guilty of killing his wife and two children had expressed racist views. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the request to hear the case.

The request was rejected by the court by a majority of 6-3. Thomas’ attorneys had argued that three members of the all-white jury that found Thomas, who is Black, guilty of killing his white wife, their son, and her daughter, had expressed opposition to interracial marriage, prompting the court to intervene. They were seated without objection from Thomas’s initial lawyer.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects request to review Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas' case
U.S. Supreme Court rejects request to review Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas’ case

The reason the court decided not to look into the case was not explained in detail. In a dissenting opinion, three justices—Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson—stated that the death sentence and conviction for Thomas “clearly violate the constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel.”

The investigation into Thomas’s case, which chronicled his mental illness, brought up concerns regarding the manner in which mental health sufferers are treated by the criminal justice system. He stabbed and burned his 20-year-old estranged wife Laura Boren; Andre Jr., their 4-year-old son; in Sherman in 2004 with her one-year-old daughter, Leyha Hughes. About a year later, he was found guilty.

Sotomayor wrote in the dissent, “This case involves a heinous crime committed by someone who suffered severe psychological trauma.”However, it is irrelevant whether Thomas’s mental health issues explain or in any way excuse his murder. Particularly when the case involved an interracial crime, no jury should be tainted by potential racial biases that could influence its deliberations or decision. His attorney, Maurie Levin, stated on Tuesday that Thomas, who was blind and had cut his eyes, posed no threat to anyone.

Levin made the following statement: “To pursue his execution would be nothing but an ugly spectacle and would not make Texans safer.” According to Levin, Thomas tried to kill himself and had schizophrenia and active psychosis when he was 10 years old. He first started hearing voices. In the three weeks leading up to the murders, he tried twice more, and Levin said he also sought help at hospitals because he was “experiencing delusions, religious hallucinations, and hearing voices.” In what Levin described as an attempt “to take his own life,” he stabbed himself five times in the chest following the killings.

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According to Levin, “No one who hears the story of Mr. Thomas’ life believes he is mentally competent.”Putting a blind, delusional man on Texas’ gurney would leave a lasting impression and tarnish the state’s reputation. By imprisoning Mr. Thomas for life, Texas can ensure public safety.


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