Texas Execution Halted, State Won't Appeal

John Battaglia killed his 2 young daughters as revenge against his ex
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2016 2:08 PM CDT
Texas Execution Halted, State Won't Appeal
John Battaglia   (Uncredited)

The Texas Attorney General's Office is not appealing a federal appeals court ruling that has halted the scheduled execution of a Dallas man convicted of killing his two young daughters 15 years ago, the AP reports. State attorneys could have appealed to the US Supreme Court the decision to stop 60-year-old John David Battaglia's lethal injection scheduled for Wednesday evening. A spokesperson says state won't try to get the reprieve lifted. Battaglia's lawyer contends, and the appeals court agreed, that he needs more time to determine if Battaglia is mentally competent for execution. The US Supreme Court has ruled that a prisoner can be executed if he's aware that the death penalty is set to be carried out and understands why he's facing the ultimate sentence.

Battaglia, a former accountant, gunned down his two young daughters in Dallas 15 years ago while his ex-wife—their mother—was listening helplessly on the phone. Battaglia was convicted of killing his 9- and 6-year-old daughters as revenge for their mother's harassment complaints that led to an arrest warrant issued against him. He already was on probation at the time. The ruling came about seven hours before Battaglia could have been taken to the Texas death chamber. His execution would have been the nation's 10th this year and the sixth in Texas. (More death penalty stories.)

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