Texas inmate appealing to US Supreme Court to halt execution

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 28, 2017

Preyor was sentenced to death for murdering his drug dealer Jami Tackett, 24, when he kicked in the door of her San Antonio apartment and slit her throat in 2004.

A Texas inmate scheduled for execution on Thursday was pressing last-minute appeals that argued his former lawyer collaborated with a disbarred attorney, relied on Wikipedia for research and double-billed his family and the court.

With just hours to go before the lethal injection, a federal appeals court denied TaiChin Preyor's bid for a reprieve, but his attorneys planned to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to step in.

Preyor's execution was delayed for more than three hours to allow the US Supreme Court time to hear the appeal from Preyor's lawyer to spare his life, which the court ultimately rejected.

The California attorney who specialized in real estate, had never tried a case in Texas. They also point to the fact that another lawyer, Philip Jefferson, who was unofficially assisting Estelle on the case, had been disbarred years earlier.

'Her files included a copy of the Wikipedia page titled, "Capital punishment in Texas", with a post-it note stating "Research" next to highlighted passages of "habeas corpus appeals" and "subsequent or successive writ applications"'.

The attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

In its response to Preyor's appeal, the state said that the inmate failed to show that what his ex-lawyer did "amounts to fraud on the court".

Preyor's attorneys also say his previous legal team presented his upbringing as idyllic, when in fact he had suffered serious physical and sexual abuse as a child, a detail which could have proved helpful in arguing against capital punishment.

TaiChin Preyor, 46, was fed a standard cafeteria meal of pepper steak before he was put to death by lethal injection at the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas. In its opinion today the court wrote that Preyor was aware of everything in the recent motion to stay his execution for two years, but "still, he waited until two weeks before his execution to bring the motion".

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