AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme rejected a final-minute attraction from a Texas inmate about an hour earlier than his deliberate execution on Thursday for murdering a jail guard in 1999.
The choice cleared the best way for Robert Pruett, 38, to be put to dying by deadly injection within the state’s demise chamber in Huntsville at 6 p.m. native time (2300 GMT).
If the execution goes forward, it will be the 544th in Texas because the U.S. Supreme Courtroom reinstated the dying penalty in 1976, probably the most of any state.
Legal professionals for Pruett had argued he was harmless and referred to as on the U.S. excessive courtroom to spare his life. The choice issued by Justice Samuel Alito didn’t present a cause for the courtroom’s determination.
Pruett, who had been serving a ninety nine-yr sentence as an adjunct to a homicide dedicated by his father, was convicted of killing jail guard Daniel Nagle by stabbing him repeatedly with a shank.
Prosecutors stated he murdered the corrections officer as a result of Nagle had reprimanded him for carrying a sandwich into the recreation yard. Torn items of the disciplinary report on Pruett have been discovered close to Nagle’s physique.
“No witnesses testified they noticed the assault, and no bodily proof related Robert Pruett to the homicide,” legal professionals for the inmate wrote of their petition to the Supreme Courtroom filed on Tuesday.
They stated Pruett, who has maintained his innocence, was convicted on the unreliable testimony of jail informants and neither Pruett’s fingerprints nor DNA materials have been discovered on the torn report. Legal professionals have additionally requested the state to launch the shank and Nagle’s garments for DNA testing after inconclusive exams passed off in 2000.
In a authorized submitting with the Supreme Courtroom, the state of Texas stated: “Pruett has raised nothing new that casts any doubt on his guilt.”
They added he had raised the identical considerations earlier than in earlier filings and had been rejected.
“His claims are based mostly on pure hypothesis and don’t reveal his factual innocence,” Texas Lawyer Common Ken Paxton and others stated within the submitting submitted to the Supreme Courtroom on Wednesday.
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Modifying by Peter Cooney and Jonathan Oatis