USA - Texas. Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot would commute the death sentence of Juan Lizcano.

21 March 2019 :

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot announced Tuesday he no longer believes that Juan Lizcano should be executed for his crime. Lizcano, now 42, Hispanic, should instead spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole, Creuzot said. Lizcano was sentenced to death in Dallas County (see November 1, 2007) for murdering a Dallas police officer, Brian Jackson, in November 2005. The change in position follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in February (see February 19, 2019) that stopped Texas from executing another intellectually disabled murderer (Bobby James Moore), saying the state's judgment of such disabilities relies on inaccurate stereotypes. The DA's office had opposed a reduced sentence for Lizcano before Creuzot took office Jan. 1. Lizcano does not have a scheduled execution date. Attorneys for Lizcano, argued in his November 2007 trial that he should not face the death penalty because of his intellectual disabilities. Lizcano's trial attorney, Brook Busbee, said Tuesday that she always thought her client would end up with a life sentence. She said there was never any evidence to show he wasn't mentally disabled. "I was frustrated during the trial because everybody knew the man was intellectually disabled and didn't care," Busbee said. At Lizcano's trial, Busbee and attorney Juan Sanchez presented evidence that he grew up intellectually slow and extremely poor in a Mexican village. He also scored low on IQ tests. He was promoted to 6th grade at age 15 simply because he was too old to remain in elementary school. Creuzot's decision, Busbee said, "was the right thing to do." The district attorney at the time, Craig Watkins, who led the state in death-penalty convictions during his tenure, convinced the jury that Lizcano should pay with his life for fatally shooting 28-year-old Officer Brian Jackson, who was responding to a late-night domestic violence call at the home of Lizcano's ex-girlfriend. The former girlfriend called 911 twice to report Lizcano had threatened her with a gun. Jackson was searching for Lizcano when Lizcano shot him. Lizcano moved to the U.S. from Mexico illegally in 2000.


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