A federal appeals court wants further examination of claims that Bexar County jurors may have received incomplete instructions when they decided to send a convicted killer to death row a decade ago.
Lawyers for 32-year-old Christopher Anthony Young argued to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that jury instructions at his 2006 trial failed to include required guidance about whether mitigating evidence presented during the trial's punishment phase could justify a life prison sentence. Attorneys also contended his trial lawyers were deficient for not spotting the instruction lapse.
State courts and a lower federal court had declined similar appeals from Young.
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He was sentenced to death for the November 2004 fatal shooting of 53-year-old Hasmukh Patel during a robbery at Patel's San Antonio convenience store.