Texas Death Row Convict Who Gouged Out His Own Eyes Is Mentally Ill; Judge Postpone Execution

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Andre Thomas: booking into the Grayson County Jail in 2004, gouged out one of his eyes, gouged out both of his eyes(left to right)Photo byMaurie Levin via AP

Andre Thomas, a convicted murderer who is widely recognized as one of the most mentally ill prisoners, was scheduled to be executed but a Texas court postponed it due to worries about his mental health. Thomas, who is 39 years old, was scheduled to die on April 5th for the murders of his ex-wife, their son, 4, and their daughter, 13 months old. The murders happened in Sherman, a tiny Texas town. According to sources, Thomas cut out the two kids' hearts. He had a history of self-harm, including plucking his eyes twice, and he claimed that God gave him the order to kill his family because he thought they were demonic.

Andre Thomas' execution has been delayed, according to The AP, after his attorneys asked for additional time to prepare for a hearing to determine his competency. State District Judge Jim Fallon made the decision. Only those who are mentally competent may be executed, according to a Supreme Court decision. Serious mental diseases do not automatically exclude a person from the death penalty, unlike intellectual impairments, which do.

Maurie Levin, Thomas's attorney, expressed certainty that the court would acknowledge her client's incapacity and that his execution would be unlawful. She continued by saying that it is against humanity and has no justification to execute a blind and psychotic guy.

According to Thomas's attorneys, he removed his second eye and then ate it to stop the authorities from monitoring his thoughts.

According to reports, more than 100 people—including religious authorities—have asked Governor Greg Abbott to suspend the execution of Thomas. Yet according to the Grayson County District Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case, those making the clemency request haven't looked at the reports or assessments of Thomas's mental health.

The district attorney's office J. Kerye Ashmore asserted that these individuals are repeating the defense's claims without knowing the actual circumstances.

According to Levin, her client is the most mentally ill prisoner executed in Texas history and is unable to be executed because of his incapacity.

She said that he doesn't have a rational comprehension of why he was sentenced to death. Ashmore rejects this assertion, however, and provides evidence that seems to indicate Thomas is aware of his detention and impending death in April.

The ruling from Judge Fallon states that Thomas's legal team has until July 5 to submit a request asking for a competency evaluation before his execution. Before deciding if the defense team's evidence is sufficient, experts will evaluate Thomas's mental state and other relevant data. According to Ashmore, they are open to letting the court make the ultimate call.

If Thomas is granted clemency, he will be held accountable for his actions within the legal framework in place when he committed the crime because Texas did not have the option of life in prison with no chance of parole in 2004. According to Ashmore's statement from February, Thomas will be eligible for parole in 20 years if his sentence is commuted.


The Guardian: Execution of Texas death row inmate who cut out his eyes delayed after concerns about his mental state

CBS News: Texas execution delayed for "blind psychotic" death row inmate who gouged out both of his eyes

Fox News: Execution of Texas death row inmate who cut out his eyes delayed after concerns about his mental state

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