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Recurring Themes

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The Texas criminal justice system continues to astonish. In August, federal judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio ordered a final-hours' stay of execution for Jeffrey Wood based on serious concerns about his sanity, that the Texas state courts had somehow summarily dismissed. Judge Garcia said substantial evidence supported at least holding a hearing on the issue but that state law seemed to require the inmate to prove his insanity first in order to obtain a hearing on whether he is insane. That, said Garcia, is "an insane system."

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