Competency hearing for former death row inmate

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Associated Press

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 6:32 AM

DALLAS (AP) — Jury selection has started in Dallas for a hearing to determine if a man whose 1987 death sentence has been reversed is mentally competent to possibly be returned to death row.

Kenneth Dewayne Thomas was convicted of fatally stabbing 64-year-old Mildred Finch dozens of times. Her 66-year-old husband, Fred, a prominent Dallas civil rights activist, was similarly killed during the burglary of their home.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2010 threw out Thomas' death sentence, agreeing with lawyers who argued jurors in 1987 had no way to consider mitigating evidence of his low intelligence, brain damage and mental illness when considering punishment.

If jurors now find 53-year-old Thomas is mentally competent, The Dallas Morning News reports (http://bit.ly/1kwJAa1 ) another jury already is impaneled to hear his punishment retrial.

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

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