A man who recently plead guilty to the murder of a 10-year-old girl will not face the death penalty but will spend his life behind bars. According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph the man was related to his young victim through marriage. The Associated Press referred to him as a “Mexican national.”
In a statement Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman expressed his frustration with the criminal not facing the death penalty. The man in this case was determined to be intellectually disabled and Putman said the Supreme Court has ruled that capital murder defendants who are deemed to be intellectually disabled cannot be executed. . .
Today, August 22 2019, Gustavo Garcia-Zavala entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to Life In Prison Without Parole.
This result is a direct consequence of recent action taken by the United States Supreme Court. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that the State cannot execute an Intellectually Disabled capital murder defendant, regardless of how severe or heinous the crime.
The Court’s ruling left victims’ families devastated and communities outraged. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals instituted standards that allowed a jury to apply common sense when deciding if a capital murder defendant was Intellectually Disabled.
(Read more from “Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Capital Murder of 10-Year-Old Girl but Will Not Face Death Penalty” HERE)