Texas appeals court overturns sentence of state’s longest-serving death row inmate

Raymond Riles, 70, has been on death row since 1976.
Raymond Riles, 70, has been on death row since 1976.(Texas prison photo)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 4:46 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Thursday overturned the death sentence of an inmate who was sent to death row 45 years ago.

Raymond Riles, 70, was the state’s longest-serving death row inmate.

The court ruled Thursday his “death sentence can no longer stand” after concluding the 70-year-old inmate’s history of mental illness was not properly considered by jurors in his trial.

Prosecutors have declined to say if they will again pursue a death sentence in Riles’ case.

Riles was convicted and sentenced to die for the attempted robbery and murder of a Houston used car dealer in December 1974.

Co-defendant Hebert Washington was also sentenced to death, but his death sentenced was commuted to 50 years in February 1978 and he was paroled in December 1983.

Riles attempted to take his own lie in May 1985 by setting his cell on fire, prison records show.

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