As someone facing charges and punishments for a crime, you need to know that the justice system you’re moving through is fair. In Texas, a recent ruling has been discussed and the judge now wants to overrule it. Generally, when you hear about this kind of situation, a judge wants to harshen a penalty. In this situation, he actually wants to reverse the death penalty a man received in exchange for a life sentence.
Does a person deserve a death penalty ruling? That may depend on how the case is defended, and the judge in this situation claims the defense didn’t defend the client to the best of their abilities. The man was a Marine who had served in Iraq; part of his defense for killing several people in a home in 2009 was that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
For people who don’t understand the disorder, much time must be taken to explain it and the effect it has on a person, particularly a person with military training. The judge claims that the defense attorneys didn’t look into PTSD enough before the trial, and this means that the issue wasn’t discussed well enough for a jury to be fully informed.
While the prosecution claims the defense did just fine, it’s also a judge’s responsibility to make sure the person being charged is fairly punished. If the man really suffers from a mental health condition, then a death penalty option may not be the best solution. In this case, both the defense and judge would be interested in seeing a lesser punishment for a person who may be struggling with a mental disorder.
Source: KBTX, “Prosecutors Come to Defense’s Defense as Judge Asks for Death Sentence Reversal,” Steve Fullhart, July 21, 2015