Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Habeas Corpus in Action

For those interested in the Cathy Lynn Henderson story I commented upon in "Staying on the Cutting Edge," Ms. Henderson was granted a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals based upon the work of her habeas corpus lawyers. The Court opinion is available here. Despite your views on the death penalty the Henderson case is a perfect example of the writ of habeas corpus in action.

If you recall, the habeas petition asserted that new data interpreting the victim's skull fracture could better support Henderson's claim the death was an accident. Dr. Roberto Bayardo was the Travis County Medical examiner who originally testified against Henderson. Bayardo claimed [the victim's] injuries were inconsistent with an accidental fall but recently, Bayardo reviewed the new scientific data and concluded he "cannot determine with a reasonable degree of medical certainty whether [the victim's] injuries resulted from an intentional act, or an accidental fall."

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