Texas Death Row Inmate Who Self-Mutilated Files Clemency Plea

Texas death row inmate, Andre Thomas, 39, was sentenced to death for fatal 2004 stabbings.

The case of a death row inmate, Andre Thomas sparked debates on the death penalty, mental illness, and the clemency process. Thomas is suffering from severe mental illness. He gouged out his own eyes after the killings and his attorneys said he ate one of his eyes to make sure that the government could not hear his thoughts. The texas death row inmate act made it difficult for him to be executed.

Andre Thomas
This combination of undated inmate photos provided by Andre Thomas’ attorney, Maurie Levin, shows bookings photos of death row inmate Andre Thomas from Grayson County Jail, left, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, center and right. (Photo: Maurie Levin via AP)

According to a published article in Fox News, his lawyers are now seeking clemency from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Greg Abbott with the argument that Thomas is not mentally competent to be put to death. More than 100 faith leaders and dozens of mental health professionals have joined the Texas death row inmate attorneys in calling for clemency. His attorneys say he has been suffering from severe mental illness since he was ten and had attempted suicide.

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Despite his mental illness, the Texas death row inmate was sentenced to death because the jury rejected his insanity defense.

Thomas has been on death row for 15 years. He was sentenced to death after killing his 20-year-old estranged wife, Laura Christine Boren, their four-year-old son Andre Lee, and her 13-month-old daughter Lehya Marie Hughes in 2004 in Sherman, Texas. The report says that he cut out the hearts of his two children and told the police that he was instructed by God to do it he believed that his wife and their children were demons.

The Texas authorities argued that if he is found competent, the execution should go forward to bring justice to his victims and their families. The Grayson County District Attorney’s Office has said that a jury has spoken about what justice should be in this case, and they will not ignore it.

The Texas death row inmate case once again raises questions about the death penalty and mental illness, as well as the fairness of the justice system. Clemency is an essential part of the criminal justice system, allowing the executive branch to review cases and grant mercy when appropriate. Thomas’s case will test the clemency process and the Governor’s willingness to grant clemency, which has been rare since he took office in 2015.

Regardless of the outcome, the case of Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas highlights the challenges of administering justice in cases of severe mental illness and the importance of ensuring that the justice system is fair and just for all.

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