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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Authorities indicted Raymond DeLeon Martinez in August 1983 for a capital murder that he allegedly committed in July 1983. The state presented evidence at Martinez’s 1989 trial that Martinez had been incarcerated in the Texas prison system for about 14 years when he was released in December 1982 at the age of 36. During the approximately eight-month period between his release from prison and his arrest for murder, Martinez engaged in violent behavior resulting in, as the state described it during closing jury arguments at the punishment phase of applicant’s 1989 trial, “a trail of bodies being left everywhere.” The state presented evidence that Martinez’s primary motivation for this violent behavior was to enhance his status in a criminal organization known as the Texas Syndicate. At his 1989 trial, the state also presented evidence of Martinez’s psychiatric problems. This evidence recounted a previous finding that Martinez was insane. Specifically, in April 1967, authorities tried Martinez for burglary before a Comanche County jury, which found Martinez not guilty by reason of insanity. Authorities sent Martinez to the Rusk State Hospital as a result of the insanity finding. In October 1968, hospital officials furloughed Martinez from the Rusk State Hospital and eventually discharged him based on a finding of “Sanity restored 10-21-68.” Martinez was also hospitalized for various psychiatric problems at the Wichita Falls State Hospital in December 1966 and twice in November 1968. Medical records from these hospitalizations indicate that applicant may have suffered from “[s]chizophrenic reaction, chronic, undifferentiated, with paranoid and catatonic features.” Most of these medical records, however, reflect diagnoses by various medical personnel that applicant is a sociopath, wrote the CCA. These medical records also describe, among other things, Martinez’s abuse of alcohol since the age of 13 and what some might view as a “troubled childhood.” The trial court’s punishment charge at Martinez’s 1989 trial contained the three special issues required by Texas law at the time: deliberateness, future dangerousness and provocation. In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in Penry v. Lynaugh, which had been decided about four months before applicant’s 1989 trial, the trial court also submitted a supplemental jury instruction, which instructed the jury to answer negatively any one of the three special issues if it found sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant a sentence less than death when deliberating “on the questions posed in the special issues.” Martinez made various objections to this supplemental instruction, all of which the trial court overruled. Within these objections, Martinez claimed that “any charge relating to Penry” should be in the form of a separate “special issue” so that “the jury could consider mitigating evidence separate and apart from their consideration of the three [special] issues.” The jury convicted Martinez of capital murder and sentenced him to death in 1989. An appeals court affirmed the conviction and sentence on direct appeal in 1993. On April 24, 1997, Martinez filed his first state habeas application, which did not contain the Penry claim that applicant had raised at trial and on direct appeal. On Aug. 18, 1999, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief on Martinez’s first state habeas application based on the convicting court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law. On March 21, 2006, Martinez filed this subsequent state habeas application presenting essentially the same Penry claim that Martinez had raised at trial and on direct appeal. HOLDING:The death sentence was set aside, and the case was remanded to the trial court for another punishment hearing. The CCA found that Martinez’s subsequent state habeas application was not procedurally barred as an abuse of the writ under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 11.071, �5(a), and then proceeded to the merits of the issue. The CCA found that Martinez presented “constitutionally relevant mitigating evidence” at his 1989 trial and that the jury did not have a vehicle to give this evidence “meaningful consideration.” Under the most recent Supreme Court cases, the three special issues did not provide the jury with a vehicle to give “meaningful consideration” to Martinez’s “constitutionally relevant mitigating evidence,” because the strength of this evidence was not to negate the special issues but to provide “an explanation for his behavior that might reduce his moral culpability.” The CCA therefore decided that there was a reasonable likelihood that these special issues precluded Martinez’s jury from giving “meaningful consideration” to Martinez’s mitigating evidence. The CCA also addressed whether the trial court’s supplemental instruction provided the jury with a vehicle to consider meaningfully applicant’s mitigating evidence. This supplemental instruction, the CCA stated, was “essentially the same one that the Supreme Court in Penry II decided was insufficient to provide the jury with a vehicle to consider Penry’s mitigating evidence.” OPINION:Hervey, J., delivered the opinion of the unanimous court.

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