Texas Executes Man Who Claimed His Previous Lawyer Relied on Wikipedia for Research

Texas executed a 46-year-old man Thursday night after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeal, which claimed his previous lawyers committed fraud. TaiChin Preyor was on death row for the 2004 fatal stabbing of 24-year-old Jami Tackett in a drug-related robbery, The San Antonio Express-News reports. Tackett, whose throat was slashed, bled out in her apartment in San Antonio. Prosecutors said she also had defensive wounds. Tackett's boyfriend, Jason Garza, was also stabbed. He survived, escaped and called 911. Preyor claimed that he "poked" Tackett with a knife in self-defense after she and her boyfriend attacked him when he went to her apartment to buy drugs, but a Bexar County jury convicted him of capital murder, KSAT reports. Preyor's lawyer filed motions arguing that his previous attorney worked with a disbarred lawyer on the case and relied on Wikipedia to learn capital-punishment law in Texas, NBC News reports. "Her files included a copy of the Wikipedia page titled, 'Capital punishment in Texas,' with a post-it note stating 'Research' next to highlighted passages of 'habeas corpus appeals' and 'subsequent or successive writ applications,'" the motion stated. Mere hours before his scheduled execution, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal and stay for him, Cate Stetson, an attorney representing him, said. Stetson then filed a petition seeking a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, which Justice Samuel Alito denied at some point after 8 p.m. Just after 9 p.m., he was injected with a lethal dose of Pentobarbital.Before that, the prison warden asked Preyor if he had a final statement. "First and foremost, I'd like to say, 'Justice has never advanced by taking a human life,'" he said, paraphrasing the late civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, who opposed the death penalty. "Lastly, to my wife and to my kids, I love y'all forever and always. That's it." Neither Preyor's nor Tackett's relatives were at the state corrections unit in Huntsville for the execution . Only four journalists and several corrections officers were present. Once injected, Preyor reportedly took several deep breaths and started snoring, which faded in volume. About 20 minutes later he was pronounced dead. Preyor is the fifth person executed in Texas in 2017 and the 16th in the U.S. The Associated Press contributed to this report.  Continue reading...

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