Court Wants Competency Exam for East Texas Death Row Inmate

The state's highest criminal court says a man on death row for a shootout that left two East Texas sheriff's officers dead should be examined by mental health experts to determine if he's competent for execution.

The ruling Wednesday from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reverses a decision from a Henderson County trial judge handling the case of 56-year-old Randall Wayne Mays.

Mays' lawyers appealed after the trial court ruled they failed to show Mays was mentally incompetent for execution for the 2007 fatal shootings at his Henderson County home.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held a person facing execution is incompetent if he doesn't understand his punishment and why he's being punished.

In March, the appeals court gave Mays a reprieve two days before his scheduled execution.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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