But SCOTUS Says He Was Too Young To Understand Right From Wrong
On the night of Nov. 12, 2003, Robert Aaron Acuna murdered my parents in their Baytown home as they were getting ready for dinner.
My father, 76, was in the garage sitting in a chair, listening to talk radio. Evidence indicates that he was forced to kneel, then shot once through the back of the head with a .38 caliber handgun. His wallet, with credit cards, car keys and cash, were stolen.
My mother, who was 74 and unable to move around without her walker, was in the house, sitting at the kitchen table. She, too, was forced to kneel, and shot twice in the face. The first shot was not fatal. Enough time passed between the first shot and the second shot for her to actually grab a roll of paper towels and wipe some of the gore off of her face. Then Acuna shot her again, this time fatally.
On the morning of Nov. 13, 2003, Acuna was due to appear in court on charges of aggravated robbery. He was charged with, and later confessed to, pulling a knife on an elderly man in the parking lot of the San Jacinto Mall in Baytown.
He did not show up that morning in court. He had stolen my father's car after the murders and had driven to Dallas. On Sunday, Nov. 16, Acuna was arrested at a hotel in Dallas for the murders of James and Joyce Carroll. He had in his possession their credit cards, my father's wallet, car and several personal items, which had been taken from the Carroll house. He was also found to have three shell casings consistent with the murder weapon.
Fortunately for Robert Aaron Acuna, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that he and others like him lacked the capacity to determine whether or not such actions were right or wrong. As a result, Acuna will be spared the lethal injection the crime described above so richly merits.
And Tim Carroll and his family will be denied the justice they so richly deserve. They will have to pay to house and feed Acuna for at least the next forty years, at which point Acuna may be released under a provision of Texas law which declares that a life sentence equals forty years for purposes of parole.