U.S. Supreme Court rejects Texas inmate’s race claim

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a claim made by a Black Texas death row inmate on Tuesday. He claimed that because three white jurors in his first trial opposed interracial marriage, he did not receive a fair trial for the murders of his white wife and two children, which he does not deny committing.

Andre Thomas, who was convicted and given the death penalty for the killings in 2004, tried to appeal, but the court rejected it over the objections of the three liberal justices. A conservative majority of 6-3 sits on the court.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissent with Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, “No jury deciding whether to recommend a death sentence should be tainted by potential racial biases that could infect its deliberations or decision, particularly where the case involved an interracial crime.”

The judgement upheld a lower court’s decision dismissing claims made by Thomas’ current attorneys that he was not given a fair trial and that his former legal team failed to adequately represent him as required by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. He was found not guilty at trial due to insanity, according to the original defence team.

Thomas wentuged out both of his eyeballs and is now blind as a result of his serious mental health concerns. For the murders of his estranged wife Laura Boren, their son Andre Jr., and her other child by a different father, Leyha Hughes, in the Texas city of Sherman, the jury, which was entirely made up of white people, sentenced him to death.

According to court documents, Thomas stabbed all three victims to death and made an effort to rip out their hearts because he thought they had been possessed by demons. He then made an attempt on his life, according to court documents, before handing himself in and telling police what had happened.

Thomas’ attorneys claimed during his murder trial for Leyha Hughes that the man was experiencing acute psychosis brought on by a lifetime of mental health problems, such as schizophrenia. Texas maintained that because of his drug use, the psychosis was transient and “voluntary.”

Three of the potential jurors who were eventually added to the panel marked a box indicating their opposition to interracial marriage when questioned about it during the jury selection process for that case.

One of them responded, “I don’t think God intended for this.”

Someone else added, “We should stick to our Blood Line.” Interracial marriage is “damaging for the children involved,” ACCording to a third.

In accordance with the law, his attorneys did not ask to have the jurors dismissed throughout the trial.

Sotomayor stated in her dissent that Thomas was “convicted and sentenced to death by a jury that included three jurors who displayed bias against him.”

Are you willing to accept the chance that he asks your daughter or your granddaughter out? The prosecutor posed this question to the jury during the sentencing phase of the trial in an effort to persuade them to impose a death sentence rather than a life sentence with the prospect of parole.

Thomas turned to federal courts after state courts rejected his post-conviction claims; these courts likewise denied him, most recently the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans last year.

Texas claims that Thomas lost the chance to question the fairness of the trial. Texas has also maintained that there was no proof that the jury could not reach a fair verdict or that his attorneys should be held accountable for their tactical choices during the trial. According to the state, the attorneys were able to weed out potential jurors for their client from the jury pool.

Before the trial, Thomas had one of his eyes gouged out. He did this with the other one in 2008 while he was on death row.

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