Friday, June 11, 2021

Longest serving death row inmate in US resentenced to life

 


The longest serving death row inmate in the U.S. was resentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after prosecutors in Texas concluded the 71-year-old man is ineligible for execution and incompetent for retrial due to his long history of mental illness.

AP

The longest serving death row inmate in the U.S. was resentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after prosecutors in Texas concluded the 71-year-old man is ineligible for execution and incompetent for retrial due to his long history of mental illness.

Raymond Riles has spent more than 45 years on death row for fatally shooting John Thomas Henry in 1974 at a Houston car lot following a disagreement over a vehicle. He is the country's longest serving death row prisoner, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Riles was resentenced after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in Aprill that his “death sentence can no longer stand” because jurors did not properly consider his history of mental illness.

Riles attended his resentencing by Zoom from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, which houses the state’s death row inmates. He said very little during the court hearing.

Riles’ attorneys asked that he appear via Zoom because they were concerned his various health issues, including severe mental illness, heart disease and ongoing recovery from prostate cancer, make him susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

Several members of Henry’s family took part in the virtual court hearing but did not make any statement before state District Judge Ana Martinez resentenced Riles to life in prison.

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