The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Order in Druery v. Texas is available in Adobe .pdf format.
Druery's attorney, Kate Black, issued the following statement:
"We are pleased that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed the execution of Marcus Druery to allow for careful consideration of our request for a competency hearing. The State has never contested the fact that Mr. Druery suffers from a psychotic disorder, which has been diagnosed by the State's own experts. Executing Mr. Druery, who lacks a rational understanding of his punishment, would stand in clear violation of the Constitution. We are hopeful the Court will find that Mr. Druery is entitled to a full and fair hearing to present the evidence of his severe psychosis and establish his incompetence to be executed."
"Texas death row inmate has Aug. 1 execution stayed," is the AP report, via KTRK-TV.
A Texas death row inmate who was scheduled to die next week had his execution stayed Friday by the state's highest criminal court, which wants to review a petition that argues he is not mentally competent to be executed.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered its stay after a lower court rejected Druery's petition. An attorney for Druery, Kate Black, said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was deemed incompetent by a defense expert. She says executing Druery would violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prisoners can't be executed unless they're aware of the punishment and know why they're being punished.
"Appeals court delays Marcus Druery exceution," by Maggie Kiely for the Bryan-College Station Eagle.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Friday afternoon granted a stay of execution for Marcus Druery, a 32-year-old death row inmate from Bryan who was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday.
Druery killed and robbed 20-year-old Skyyler Browne on Halloween 2002 before lighting Browne’s body on fire and dumping it in a stock pond.
He was sentenced to death in 2003 by a Brazos County jury.
Druery’s lawyers filed an appeal Wednesday asking the appellate court to review District Judge J.D. Langley’s decision to deny Druery a competency hearing as his attorneys had requested.
The appeals court “determined that further review is necessary” and issued the stay “pending further order,” according to a response from the panel of nine judges.
Defense attorneys Kate Black and Greg Wiercioch of the Texas Defender Service have argued that their client meets the criteria for incompetency and doesn’t have a “rational understanding” of why he’s to be executed, which would make him ineligible for the death penalty.
"Appeals court halts execution over competency issue," by Cindy George for the Houston Chronicle.
Brazos County District Attorney Bill Turner said prosecutors do not dispute that Druery has a mental disorder, but they believe he's competent enough to face execution.
"We anticipated the appellate courts would take a look at it before the execution proceeded," Turner said in an interview Friday.
Druery, who has been on death row for almost six years, was to be executed for the 2002 robbery-murder of Skyyler Browne.
"Bryan Murderer's Execution Put on Hold," on KBTX-TV.
It's unclear when the appeals court will conduct its review.
The last Brazos County killer to be executed was Ynobe Matthews in 2004.
Earlier coverage of Marcus Druery's case begins at the link.