Recently a Texas judge delayed the execution of Andre Thomas—a man who is so severely mentally ill, the crime he committed of killing his wife and mixed-race children involved cutting out their hearts and carrying them in his pocket.
He proceeded to separately gouge out both of his eyes, the second of which he ate.
Marc Bookman, who founded the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation in Philadelphia and has followed this case, laid out a number of the concerns about this case.
His late wife was white, the children were mixed race, and, as Bookman noted, “four of the twelve eventual jurors were opposed to people of mixed-race backgrounds marrying and/ or having children.”
One even stated that he did not believe “God intended for this.” Andre’s court-appointed lawyers did not object, and the jurors were seated. The entire jury—not to mention the judge and all of the lawyers—were white.
The prosecutor in his closing argument clearly played the race card, asking the jurors if they were willing to risk Andre “asking your daughter out, or your granddaughter out?”
This is a case tinged in racism, dogged by ineffective assistance of counsel, and by a mental health system that failed all the way through.
And somehow, at least to this point, the legal system has failed to stop the execution train.
Listen as Marc Bookman discusses one of the most disturbing death penalty cases in memory.