No need for new hearing on death sentence appeal, judge says

From the San Antonio Express News, No need for new hearing on death sentence appeal, judge says:

A judge in Kerrville will only consider pleadings and evidence already in the record for the death sentence appeal of Jeffery L. Wood, one of two men convicted of capital murder for the 1996 robbery and slaying of a store clerk there.

In staying Wood’s execution last August, the state Court of Criminal Appeals directed the trial court to review defense claims that Wood was denied due process because the sentence was based on false testimony and fake scientific evidence.

The last-minute reprieve was cheered by supporters of Wood, whose case has garnered widespread coverage due what some cast as the overzealous prosecution of a defendant of limited intellect who initially was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Rather than admitting new evidence into the record or conducting a hearing, state District Judge Keith Williams on Wednesday directed both sides to submit by March 29 their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning Wood’s writ for habeus corpus.

“The court hereby determines that there are no existing controverted, previously unresolved factual issues material to the legality of applicant’s confinement,” Williams’ order says, in part.

To read the entire article, go to the San Antonio Express News.

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