Longest serving death row inmate in US resentenced to life

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This photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Raymond Riles. Riles, the longest serving death row inmate in the U.S. was resentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 after prosecutors in Texas concluded the 71-year-old man is ineligible for execution and incompetent for retrial due to his long history of mental illness. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP, File)

By JUAN A. LOZANO

HOUSTON (AP) — The longest serving death row inmate in the U.S. has been resentenced to life in prison after prosecutors concluded he’s ineligible for execution and not competent for retrial due to his long history of mental illness. Raymond Riles has spent more than 45 years on death row in Texas for fatally shooting John Thomas Henry in 1974 at a Houston car lot following a disagreement over a vehicle. A judge in Houston resentenced the 71-year-old Riles to life in prison during a court hearing Wednesday. Riles appeared via Zoom from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, which houses the state’s death row inmates. He said little during the hearing. Riles’ resentencing means he is eligible for parole. Prosecutors say they will fight any efforts to have Riles released on parole.