Andre Thomas – Sane Enough to Die? (Part 2)

prison.jpgHis first performance of self-mutilation not being enough, Sherman, Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas pulled out his last remaining eye and ate it. They say he said it tasted like fish.

This raised an interesting and academic question of the propriety of his future death, scheduled to be brought to you by the state of Texas. A Texas capital jury, after they find a person guilty of capital murder, are given the three special issues that the Supreme Court wants answered.

1) whether there exists a probability the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a “continuing threat to society”.

2) the second question is whether, taking into consideration the circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s character and background, and the personal moral culpability of the defendant, there exists sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant a sentence of life imprisonment rather than a death sentence.

The jury must answer “Yes” to the first question, which we call the future dangerousness special issue, and “No” to the second question, which we call the mitigation special issue, for the death penalty to be imposed. They obviously did in Thomas’s case.

However, he reapplied to the Court of Criminal Appeals for release from his death sentence because due to his lack of eyeballs he unquestionably could not be a danger to society any longer. Our highest criminal Court disagreed, stating that the question is properly answered immediately following conviction.