7 April 2009 – Jose Garcia Briseno?

**Latest update **
Jose Garcia Briseno was granted a stay of execution on 3 April 2009 so the court could consider his appeal. The case surrounds the claim that the jury were not asked to consider the mitigating circumstances, according to Associated Press.

*****

Can’t say it’s looking good for José Garcia Briseno.

At 6pm on this day the serial felon was scheduled to be laid out on a Texan gurney for murder.

Amid some pretty hard-hitting forensics stacked up against him, Briseno was found guilty of killing and has been on death row since 1992.

Of course, a jail break and several stays later, the periods between appeals are getting shorter and shorter. And it really doesn’t help that Briseno’s victim was a lawman.

He shot the sheriff?

Sheriff Ben Murray of Dimmit County in Texas was found stabbed and shot in his own home following signs of a struggle.

Briseno was said to have been denied a DNA expert during his trial as the evidence was too flaky. But in actual fact the prosecution’s case hinged on the fact that his blood was found at the sheriff’s house. And it was this very evidence that eventually led to him being sent him down

But that’s not all. It was during Briseno’s consequent jail break that fellow crims were told details about the murder, including where the gun had been deposited. And it was retrieved shortly after the escapees were apprehended.

So on the basis of confessions from other prisoners who’d broken free with him, Briseno’s many attempts to get his sentence overturned have been rejected.

Vein hope

According to a report on the BBC, the court is currently considering ‘mitigating evidence of childhood deprivation, abandonment by his parents, limited intellectual functioning, alcoholism, drug abuse, and lifelong poverty’.

However, on the point about limited intellectual functioning, the last stay was in January. It was felt that he was mentally able to understand the gravity of his crimes and the enormity of the sentence he has been given.

But apparently some sources state he was granted a stay so a campaigner from the Malverns – Cathy Walters – could visit him!

Indeed Walters is now appealing for support of her chum, who she believes is as much a victim as the sheriff, after she struck up a friendship with Briseno thanks to correspondence and her visit to see him on death row.

That brings us to 7 April and as the minutes drip by, the outcome of this last-ditch appeal hangs in the balance. Will José Briseno escape the lethal IV needle? Watch this space…

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