Once a “dead man walking,” a Texas killer spared by this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling may already be eligible for parole consideration, reports the Houston Chronicle. But when, or if, Mauro Barraza, 32, is released is up to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. The minimum eligibility dates for him and 27 other affected Texas death row inmates are dictated by state laws that increasingly have lengthened the minimum time inmates must serve when convicted of capital murder but not sentenced to death.
All of the killers affected by Tuesday’s high court ruling outlawing executions for murderers who committed their crimes while minors will be considered for release by 2043. Barraza, condemned for the June 1989 robbery-murder of a Fort Worth-area woman, already has served the 15-year minimum prison stretch mandated by law at the time of his offense, and likely will be the first considered for release. Consideration for parole, however, does not guarantee release.