The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has thrown out the death sentence of a man condemned for fatally shooting a south Texas sheriff almost 20 years ago.
The court ruled Wednesday that jurors who decided 53-year-old
Jose Briseno should be put to death didn't have enough information
in their instructions from the trial judge. At the time of Briseno's 1992 trial, the rules regarding capital murder jury instructions were evolving to comply with U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Briseno was convicted of gunning down Dimmit County Sheriff Ben "Doc" Murray in January 1991 at the 68-year-old lawman's home in
Carizzo Springs, about 140 miles southwest of San Antonio. Murray had arrested Briseno in the past. The case returns to the trial court for a new penalty phase.
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