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71-Year Old Death Row Inmate Resentenced to Life in Prison, Now Eligible For Parole

Raymond Riles

Raymond Riles, who has been on death row since 1974, will no longer be executed by the state of Texas because prosecutors have concluded that he is “ineligible for execution and incompetent for retrial due to his long history of mental illness.”

Riles, who is now 71-years old, was the country’s longest serving death row prisoner. He had been on death row longer than anyone else in the United States - for more than 45 years. However, his sentence has been "reduced" to life in prison which means that he is immediately eligible for parole.

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In 1974, Riles allegedly shot and killed a man named John Thomas Henry in  in Houston, Texas after they reportedly got into a heated argument about a car. However, with his new sentencing, The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will automatically conduct a parole review in his case.

Jim Marcus, one of Riles’ attorneys, said in a statement that his client is in very poor health and has major mental health illnesses.