Appeals court orders new trial for Texas death row inmate

November 15, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas’ highest criminal court has ordered a new trial for a death row inmate because his attorneys ignored his wishes to claim he was innocent and argue that the slayings of his wife and mother-in-law were due to a conspiracy involving a local mayor.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday ordered Albert James Turner be retried for the 2009 killings in Rosenberg, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Houston.

Turner’s attorneys told jurors the ex-prison guard was in a state of delusional denial about the killings and that he was guilty, but not of capital murder.

The appeals court says it based its decision on a prior U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found maintaining one’s innocence is a decision reserved for a defendant and not an attorney.

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