TEXAS – Judge denies motions to deem death row inmate unfit for execution – Marcus Druery- STAYED

July 24, 2012 the eagle.com

Judge J.D. Langley on Monday morning denied several motions filed by attorneys of death row inmate Marcus Druery, 32, of Bryan, claiming their client is incompetent and therefore unfit to be executed next week.

Druery has been on death row since 2003 when a Brazos County jury sentenced him to death after convicting him of killing Skyyler Browne, then robbing him and setting the body on fire.

Druery’s lawyers, Kate Black and Greg Wiercioch with the Texas Defender Service, say their client is schizophrenic and doesn’t have a rational understanding of why he’s scheduled to receive lethal injection Aug. 1, which would make him ineligible for execution based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

They pointed to thousands of pages of medical and prison records that detail Druery’s condition and used letters written by the inmate to support their position.

Black said while her client may be able to recite when his execution date is, he lacks understanding of why he’s to receive the punishment and believes he is innocent.

Prosecutor Doug Howell did not argue that Druery is mentally ill, but did insist he meets the competency criteria for execution. Howell said Druery made comments at a June 29 hearing that he was not responsible for the murder, an indication that he understands the crime and why he is to be put to death.

In the motions filed and denied, Druery’s attorneys had asked Langley to appoint two independent psychiatrists to review the competency issue and schedule a hearing on the matter.

Black said the next step will be to appeal the decision with the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, and if unsuccessful at that level, they will move on to the federal court system.

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