Andre Thomas Research Paper

Good Essays
In 2003, Andre Thomas viciously attacked and killed his ex-wife and her two children, and was sentenced to death row. His defense argued that he was not eligible for death row because of his mental state. The court ignored the argument and passed it off, saying that they were using his illness as an excuse to “get out of” maximum punishment. As demonstrated in this case, mental illness is not given the attention it deserves when determining a sentence. Cases such as these have aroused concern how fair the criminal court is towards the mentally ill. It seems as if the justice system ignores the severity of mental health issues and only focuses on the crime that has been committed. In the case of Andre Thomas, the court has only added to this …show more content…
He was born to a mentally ill mother and lived at home along with his other mentally ill siblings. By age nine, Thomas was experiencing auditory hallucinations. He began abusing alcohol shortly after his hallucinations began in hopes of quieting the voices in his head. With his conflicted mental state, criminal behavior and run ins with the police became frequent for Thomas. Over time, his illness only grew worse; he became obsessed with dollar bills, believing that they contained a secret code for his salvation. The voices eventually became too much for him to handle, and he attempted suicide several times. Three weeks before the murders, he overdosed on cough medicine and was transferred to a mental health facility. When he regained consciousness, he begged the staff to kill him so that he would no longer be burdened by life CITATION. Somehow he was released from the hospital just hours later with no treatment or medication. To further support his insanity, while in his cell awaiting trial, Thomas gouged out his right eyeball with his bare hands; he later went on to explain that was reading his bible when he came across a verse that read, “If the right eye offends thee, pluck it out”; the voices in his head then continued to nag him until he did so CITATION. He was transferred to a mental hospital until he was deemed capable of withstanding trial. Thomas’s lawyers took his recent act of self harm to their advantage and used it …show more content…
Polunsky prison where he would serve his sentence. There he was placed in the death row unit and was locked away in a cell for 23 hours a day. After a mental assessment taken at his holding prison, it was concluded that Thomas suffered from schizophrenia CITATION. While the court believed that he was sane enough to be executed, his actions proved otherwise. After being locked away, Thomas’s illness worsened; while alone in his cell, he gouged out his other eye and and ate it. His actions should have well enough proved to the judge and jury that he is not in his right mind; no sane human being would pluck out their eye and eat it. Thomas’s lawyers took his case to the highest criminal court, and argued that since he is now blind, he is no longer a threat to the community. They also argued that his actions were clearly not of someone in a healthy mental state, and therefore, should be taken off death row and retried for a new sentence. Still, the prosecutors blamed his recent actions on his abuse of alcohol and drugs, claiming the withdrawals from substance abuse were to blame for him gouging out his eyeballs. They also rejected the argument on the conclusion that Thomas was “clearly crazy, but he is also sane under Texas law” because he was aware of what he was doing at the time of the crime

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Importance Of Euthanasia

    • 1915 Words
    • 8 Pages

    One doctor, Dr. Cox, went against his Britain’s law that said euthanasia was illegal in 1992. He chose to give in to his patient’s pleads for death as he knew there was nothing he could do to help his patient any longer. Dr. Cox was stripped of his license to practice medicine and he was put in jail for several years on the bases that, even though his patient’s living will stated that they would want to be taken off of life support if their prognosis did not look good, he murdered the elderly man ("Euthanasia, right to…

    • 1915 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Creson die at the hospital shortly after. Previous to the murder, Davis wrote letters to his girlfriend in which he stated that he felt the “desire to shoot Creson and write the lyrics of a rock song on his truck in Creson’s blood” (Robinson). This letters proved that Davis planned the murder and because of this he was sentenced “to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 51 years” for first degree murder (Robinson). Psychiatrists that have seen Davis believe that he was suffering from “serious depression with psychotic features” during the time of the murder (617). This shows that Davis was not mentally stabled during the shooting, but because he thought about killing Creson during a moment of break down, he was still found guilty.…

    • 1155 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Not for the best, since he assassinated a prime minister Sir Robert Peel. McNaughten was very delusional and displayed symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. Instead of going to jail for murder, he was sent to a psychiatric institution. He stayed there until he died. The reason McNaughten got away with murder was because, the court acquitted his charges for being insane.…

    • 711 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mercy Vs Justice

    • 872 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although he was involved in a shooting and ended up seriously injuring a person, he was first charged with aggravated assault. While in prison, the victim died due to the improper health care according to evidence provided by forensics. Yet the court ruled that Jimmy Dill is to be punished by death penalty changing his sentence from prison time to death. However it is to be noted that “Mr. Dill should have been shielded from the death penalty because of his intellectual disability”-(pg 284).…

    • 872 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Children In Prison

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Ian did not have a good lawyer and was not educated on some laws which was Ian's downfall. Ian was told to plead guilty to attempted homicide. The judge proceeded to sentence the thirteen year old boy life in prison. The prison decided that the best thing for Ian was to be put into solitary confinement where he was sectioned off from any other inmates and the prison workers that threatened him with abuse or sexual assault. “A teacher who had been confined in the facility when she was a teenager confided to us that she had been sexually assaulted by a staff member who was still in our employ years later.” (“What Mass Incarceration Looks Like for Juveniles”…

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Supreme Court then found that it is cruel and unusual to impose the death penalty on the mentally ill. This is specifically apt when considering Smith’s case because he was not mentally ill during the before, yet he does suffer from mental illness. If applying Ford to Smith’s case, then his sentence should be vacated, as his mental capacity could diminish and he could not be aware of his punishment of the reason for him receiving it. Atkins v. Virginia (2002) also concerned the use of the death penalty on those who are not mentally competent. Daryl Atkins was convicted and sentenced to death for abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder.…

    • 751 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I am writing to you regarding your article about the execution of Robert Harris who murdered two young guys for no reason. In my opinion, Harris deserved to die because he had very aggressive behaviour. Murdering people is not a good thing and he had to die. He didn’t deserve even the life imprisonment because it is very expensive to keep him alive. I am shocked at your anti-death penalty attitude, demonstrated in your article ‘I see a killer die’.…

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He wanted to be moved out of the area, but he went back to the same unit after receiving treatment. He continued to be beaten, raped, and forced to perform oral sex on other prisoners, he kept begging the officers to get him out of there. On one occasion, he wrote a prison official: “I’m afraid to go to sleep, to shower or just about anything else. I am afraid that when I am doing these things, I might die at any time. Please, sir, help me.” After seventy-five days in prison, Rodney hanged himself in his…

    • 709 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    His mental illness gave him no social integration. Instead it made him feel uncomfortable in large crowds and had a large influence on his social construction. As Durkheim says in mechanical solidarity, a part of that is punitive justice, when the violator suffers; James Holmes should have a part of punitive justice. In my opinion, I believe James Holmes should have been sentenced with the death penalty. If a man with a mental illness thinks about killing every day, he should have been in a mental institution for his own safety and the safety of others.…

    • 753 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He made several suicide attempts from the late 1960s to early 1970s, and was therefore forced to seek psychiatric help, it was at that time he first revealed that he heard voices telling him to kill his parents. His father claimed to have received a letter saying that he was dead in 1973, causing his brother to believe so for years, until he read about the double murder in Wakefield Prison and wrote a letter to confirm that it was Maudsley. During his last trial, he said that: 'When I kill, I think I have my parents in mind, if I had killed my parents in 1970, none of these people need have died. If I had killed them, then I would be walking around as a free man without a care in the world. ' He had also claimed to “adore the sight of blood” after being secured in solitary confinement.…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays