July 12th, 2017
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Panetti v. Davis
Opinion Date: July 11, 2017
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
Petitioner was convicted of killing his wife's parents and sentenced to death. In this appeal, the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of appointed counsel and expert funding under 18 U.S.C. 3599, vacated its factual findings relating to petitioner's competency, and remanded for additional proceedings. The court held that petitioner was entitled to counsel to pursue his claim because Texas's application of Article 46.05 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure denied him due process. Furthermore, the court did not see justification for denying petitioner funding for experts and other investigative resources. Because the district court's conclusion was tainted by the inadequate due process protection provided to petitioner by the State, the court vacated the district court's findings of fact regarding his competency to be executed.
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