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Texas reinstates inmate’s death penalty that had been halted by Supreme Court

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An inmate on death row in a Texas prison who was temporarily spared by the U.S. Supreme Court had his death sentence reinstated by a state court on Wednesday after it determined that he was competent to be executed, legal filings showed.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 had faulted Texas for its obsolete standard of assessing if the inmate was intellectually disabled. The Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that the execution of people who are intellectually disabled violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which bans cruel and unusual punishment.

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The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal cases which is dominated by conservatives, said in a decision on Wednesday it had revised its standards to better reflect modern medical thinking and abide by U.S. Supreme Court directives. Under its new protocols, inmate Bobby Moore, 58, can be executed, it said.

“It remains true under our newly adopted framework that a vast array of evidence in this record is inconsistent with a finding of intellectual disability,” the Texas court said in a 5-3 decision.

Cliff Sloan, attorney for Moore, said the court’s ruling is “clearly an outlier that is inconsistent with the controlling intellectual disability standards.”

The district attorney for Harris County, where Moore’s crime took place, said in an October filing with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Moore’s life should be spared because he was intellectually disabled.

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Moore was convicted at age 20 of fatally shooting an elderly grocery store clerk during a 1980 robbery in Houston.

In a Supreme Court ruling authored by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in March 2017 for the Moore case, the court held that the Texas system for gauging the intellect of defendants was deficient.

Legal filings showed it was based on standards adopted about a quarter century ago.

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The Supreme Court decision came about a month after it gave another Texas death row inmate, Duane Buck, a chance to avoid execution because his trial was tainted by testimony from a psychologist who stated Buck was more likely to commit future crimes because he is black.

Chief Justice John Roberts denounced the “noxious strain of racial prejudice” seen in that case. Moore is also black.

Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Texas has executed 551 inmates, the most of any state. The figure is about five times higher than the state with the second most executions, Virginia, according to the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.

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Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Larence Hurley in Washington; editing by Bill Berkrot

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump Twitter freaks out about coming recession and tries to pin the blame on the Democrats

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President Donald Trump betrayed his mortal fear of a recession in another early morning Twitter rant about the economy.

The president insisted the economy was fine, and again tried to blame Democrats and the media if a recession hits before the 2020 election.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well," the president tweeted. "Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession."

He suggested that his political enemies were willing to sacrifice their wealth to defeat him next year.

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‘Vive la France’: 75 years ago, Paris freed from Nazi occupation

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In August 1944 ordinary Parisians rose up, led by Resistance fighters supported by workers, women and even priests to throw off the Nazi yoke after four years.

Following six days of street clashes, random attacks and armed barricades, they were joined by French and US soldiers and victory was confirmed.

"Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred!" General Charles de Gaulle declared outside the city hall on August 25.

"But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself. Liberated by its people."

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The landing of tens of thousands of American, British and Canadian troops on the beaches of Normandy on June 6 launched the final pushback against Adolf Hitler's forces.

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‘American Carnage’: How Mike Pence uses his brand of right-wing evangelical Christianity to play Trump

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In February of 2018, Donald Trump's former political guru Steve Bannon told Bloomberg News that in the 2016 election, "The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”

Bannon was proven correct in his strategy of how Trump's racist, authoritarian pseudo-populist movement could win power in the United States (and various other places around the world). Nearly three years into Trump's tenure the American news media is still struggling with how to cover a president and an administration that have no use for democratic norms, the Constitution, the rule of law, and the truth or reality itself.

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