Texas halts execution of murder accomplice Jeffery Wood

Jeffery Wood, file
A court in Texas has halted next week's execution of a man who was convicted of murdering a shop worker in 1996, even though it was his fellow robber who had pulled the trigger.
Jeffery Wood, 43, was to be executed on Wednesday by lethal injection.
The court ordered a review into his level of guilt and whether the sentence was based on false testimony.
Under the state's Law of Parties, a defendant can be convicted of murder even if it is committed by another.
The Death Penalty Information Center monitoring group says that 10 murder accomplices have been executed in the US since 1976, five of them in Texas.

'Dr Death'

Wood was in a car outside when his friend, Daniel Reneau, shot dead the 31-year-old store worker.
Wood then entered the store to help with the theft. Reneau was executed in 2002.
The role of a forensic scientist who appeared for the prosecution was a key factor in the latest ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Dr James Grigson, who earned the nickname "Dr Death" for his willingness to testify against those facing execution, had said that Wood would be violent in the future.
Grigson, who died in 2004, was expelled from the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association for making diagnoses of murder defendants without examination.
Wood's lawyer, Jared Tyler, said: "Three former jurors have said they feel the government's presentation to them of a discredited psychiatrist who predicted with certainty, and without evaluating Mr Wood, that Mr Wood would be criminally violent in the future was unfair.
"The jurors no longer support a death sentence."
Mr Tyler added: "I am not aware of a case where a person has been executed with so minimal culpability and with such little participation in the event."
The court ruled 7-2 to stay the execution.


Source: BBC
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