TEXAS (USA): DEATH SENTENCE OF GERONIMO GUTIERREZ COMMUTED BECAUSE OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
December 1, 2020:
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on November 25, 2020 ruled that Geronimo Gutierrez is ineligible for the death penalty because of intellectual disability and resentenced him to life imprisonment. Gutierrez, now 43, Hispanic, was sentenced to death on May 21, 2002 in Bexar County for the May 29, 1999 kidnapping, robbery and murder of Rick Martin, Hispanic. (Source: DPIC, 25/11/2020)
Gutierrez is one of numerous intellectually disabled death row prisoners in Texas whose claims of intellectual disability were initially rejected by the Texas courts under an unscientific and unconstitutional definition of the disorder that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in Moore v. Texas in 2017.
At least eight former death-row prisoners in Texas have since been resentenced to life after their cases were reconsidered under Moore.
However, more than a dozen prisoners whose challenges to their death sentences were rejected under Texas’ unconstitutional definition of intellectual disability have already been executed.