Last-Minute Reprieve

TX Court Stays Execution of ‘Murderer’

Jeffrey Wood, a Texas death row inmate who was set to be executed next Wednesday, has been granted an unexpected stay of execution. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sided with Wood’s lawyers, who argued that their client’s due process had been violated by false testimony and questionable scientific evidence. A psychiatrist who had testified in Wood’s trial was later discredited, which the court said was sufficient to grant a stay. Wood was charged under a Texas law by which any individual involved in a criminal plot that causes a death is equally responsible for the death, even if that person did not physically take part in the murder. Wood was charged with murder for a 1996 gas station robbery in which the store clerk was shot dead. Wood was sitting outside in a getaway vehicle at the time his friend killed the store clerk, but he was still charged for the killing. Throughout his trial, Wood had argued that he had no knowledge of his friend’s plans to shoot the clerk.