, 9 tweets, 2 min read
This is a truly reprehensible decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The court's majority denies justice not only for Paul Storey but also for the victim, Jonas Cherry, and his parents. texastribune.org/2019/10/02/pau…
Paul Storey was convicted of killing Jonas Cherry in 2008. Jonas Cherry's parents repeatedly told prosecutors that they did not want the death penalty. The prosecutor lied to the jury and said that all of Jonas's family members supported a death sentence.
Jonas Cherry's parents, Glenn and Judith, reiterated their opposition to Paul Storey's execution in 2017: "As a result of Jonas' death, we do not want to see another family having to suffer through losing a child and family member."
One of the jurors from Paul Storey's trial signed an affidavit and said that he would have never voted in favor of the death penalty if he had known the truth about Glenn and Judith Cherry's wishes. That one juror's vote would have been enough to prevent a death sentence.
After reviewing the case, a trial court judge in Tarrant County determined that Paul Storey should be resentenced to life without parole (in line with the wishes of Glenn and Judith Cherry). The TX Court of Criminal Appeals reversed that ruling on a legal technicality.
The majority on the TX Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Paul Storey should have brought forward this information sooner (in other words, they ruled that it's "too late") even though there's no evidence that any of Paul's previous attorneys knew about any of this.
The majority said that even if Paul's appellate lawyer didn't know about the wishes of Glenn and Judith Cherry, he should have found out. That lawyer is now deceased, so he could not answer for what he did or did not know and the court made baseless assumptions instead.
Judges Yeary, Walker, and Slaughter dissented and presented good points about the flaws in the majority's legalistic opinion.
This case reveals a fundamental problem in our death penalty system and the criminal-legal process in general. Prosecutors claim they are advocates for victims, but then frequently ignore the wishes of victims and victim families who oppose punitive punishments.
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