Texas inmate’s death sentence again thrown out over disability claims

Kenneth Dewayne Thomas. (Texas prison photo)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas' highest criminal court Wednesday again vacated the death sentence of a Dallas man so that a jury can reconsider whether he's intellectually disabled.

The ruling Wednesday is the second time the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the death sentence of Kenneth Dewayne Thomas.

He was convicted in 1987 of fatally stabbing the wife of a Dallas civil rights lawyer who was also killed in the attack.

Thomas broke into the couple's home through a bedroom window.

The victims were stabbed a total of more than 100 times, records show.

Thomas was arrested two days later.

The same court in 2010 vacated his first death sentence after saying jurors had no way of considering mitigating evidence that Thomas had low intelligence.

A different jury again sentenced Thomas to death, concluding he didn't have an intellectual disability.

But the appeals court said in Wednesday's 5-4 ruling that the criteria jurors used was flawed and ordered another sentencing hearing.