The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted Hannah Overton a new trial based upon her claim of “ineffective assistance of counsel” (IAC). She has served seven years of a life sentence for capital murder in the death of her 4-year-old stepson who died of a sodium overdose (salt poisoning). She truly did have ineffective assistance of counsel, because her attorney did not present the videotaped deposition of a salt poisoning expert saying that the overdose was likely unintentional, and there was nothing she could have done.
But here’s the part of the story that really gets me. Overton had also filed a claim that the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence (Brady violation), and the court was presented with both the IAC claim and the Brady claim. In it’s ruling, the court declined to rule on the Brady claim, saying it was unnecessary since they had granted a new trial based upon the IAC claim. They let the prosecutor off the hook.
Story from KRIS TV (Corpus Christi, TX) here.
For a current update, see the KRIS site here.