Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nanon Williams Ordered Released !!!


Abolition Movement member Lucha Rodriguez just received a phone call from Morris Moon, one of several attorneys for former death row prisoner Nanon Williams and he told her that Federal Judge Nancy Atlas has today ordered Nanon released from prison.

On August 17 Judge Atlas held a de novo on Nanon's case on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Now, the state of Texas has 30 days to appeal this ruling by Judge Atlas.  To appeal, they would have to go to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.  But it was the 5th Circuit that ordered Nanon's case sent back to the Federal District Court for a
de novo hearing.  So, to us who are not lawyers, it seems unlikely the 5th Circuit would deny Atlas' ruling.

Nanon was only 17 years old when he was arrested for capital murder in 1992.  He was on Texas death row until the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the execution of juveniles in 2005.  Nanon is now 36 years old and at the Ramsey Unit south of Houston serving a life sentence.

More details to come after the shock wears off and we speak more with attorneys and Nanon. 

In the last month---Anthony Graves, Claude Jones, and now Nanon Williams.

This is another nail in the coffin of capital punishment.

(Don't forget we will celebrate the season by signing holiday cards for all those on death row in Texas on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 6:00--10:00 pm at S.H.A.P.E. Community Center.  Bring some postage stamps, a colorful pen, and some holiday goodies to share!  If there was justice in Texas, Nanon would be with us to sign the cards!!!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Federal Judge Nancy Atlas has today ordered Nanon released from prison."

The exact wording of the Order is this:

1. [Nanon's] Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is provisionally granted.

2. [The State of Texas] shall release [Nanon] from custody unless within 180 the State of Texas institutes new criminal proceedings against him.

3. the 180-day time period shall not commence until the conclusion of any appeal from this Order ....

Also, when the 5th Circuit previously remanded Nanon's case back to the U.S. District Court it was because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals didn't give the federal courts enough facts in which to make a fair decision. The case was remanded so that the U.S. District Court could conduct independent fact finding, which the U.S. District Court did.

Thus, if the State of Texas appeals, then the 5th Circuit will decide on completely different claims and merits. What happened before has no meaningful impact on what may happen next.

What is meaningful is that U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas doesn't have her decisions overturned on appeal often.