In 2005, Andre Thomas stood before a jury, convicted of murdering his family. After being placed on death row at a Texas facility, the inmate claimed the all-white jurors showed racial bias in his case due to his interracial marriage. While imprisoned, reports say Thomas gouged his eyes out and ate one of them.
After trying to have his sentence overturned for more than a decade, yesterday (Oct. 11), the New York Post shared that the United States Supreme Court declined to give the inmate a second chance. During the grisly crime, Thomas killed his white wife and their two children, alleging God commanded him to do so. But there may be some truth to other claims Thomas made.
In the juror’s questionnaire, at least three expressed racist views. According to the New York Post, one even wrote, “I think we should stay with our Blood Line.” The decision to toss out Thomas’ request for a lighter sentence was a 6-3 vote. The three who voted in favor of the inmate’s request argued that Thomas’ lawyers should have never allowed jurors with those views to decide his fate.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted, “No jury deciding whether to recommend a death sentence should be tainted by potential racial biases that could infect its deliberations or decision, particularly where the case involved an interracial crime.” Representatives for Thomas have argued he is “mentally ill” and should not be executed. Five days after his initial March 2004 arrest, he reportedly removed one eye. Five years later, prison officials say the inmate removed the second eye and ate it while on death row.
His attorney Maurie Levin says her client suffers from schizophrenia and active psychosis. She believes that instead of receiving the death penalty, Thomas should spend life in prison as an inmate. “To pursue his execution would be nothing but an ugly spectacle and would not make Texans safer,” she said.