Inmate ordered retried in '80 'waiting ever since' [View all]
Source: Yahoo /AP
GATESVILLE, Texas (AP) — Jerry Hartfield was still a young man when an uncle visited him in prison to tell him that his murder conviction had been overturned and he would get a new trial.
Not long afterward, he was moved off of death row.
"A sergeant told me to pack my stuff and I wouldn't return. I've been waiting ever since for that new trial," Hartfield, now 56, said during a recent interview at the prison near Gatesville where he's serving life for the 1976 robbery and killing of a Bay City bus station worker. He says he's innocent.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Hartfield's murder conviction in 1980 because it found a potential juror improperly was dismissed for expressing reservations about the death penalty. The state tried twice but failed to get the court to re-examine that ruling, and on March 15, 1983 — 11 days after the court's second rejection — then-Gov. Mark White commuted Hartfield's sentence to life in prison.
At that point, with Hartfield off death row and back in the general prison population, the case became dormant.
Please note, my anger here is not directed towards actual citizens of Texas, but rather the dubious concept of "Texas Justice." Because I am almost 100% had his death sentence never been overturned, the State of Texas would have executed him long, long ago.