Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Texas: Tough Call

It is reported that Governor Rick Perry will soon receive 1,200 letters which call on him to evercise clemency in the case of Hannah Overton. Overton is serving a life sentences after being held responsible for the salt-poisoning of her 4-year-old foster child. A jury concluded that she did not intend to kill the child, but held her responsible for failing to get it timely medical care. Now, writes the San Antonio Tribune, "it's doubtful this case would have resulted in a conviction at all had the Corpus Christi jury in 2007 heard evidence the prosecution withheld."

Hannah and her husband are said to be "deeply religious" and "in the process" of adopting the child despite "difficult behavior" that included "tantrums and an insatiable appetite." Indeed, the Tribune says "new evidence" suggests "an ailment" was responsible for the death and that "there was nothing the Overtons could have done to save the boy."

It is also said that the case was “overcharged” as a capital murder case and that, in fact, "the boy's stomach contents did not have high levels of salt." The boy's physician was not allowed to testify. See story here.

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