Northeast Texas man set to die in burglary-slaying - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Northeast Texas man set to die in burglary-slaying

Joseph Ries Joseph Ries

Death row inmate Joseph Ries is looking to the U.S. Supreme Court to spare him from execution in Huntsville tonight.

Ries is to die tonight for killing 64-year-old Robert Ratliff at the victim's home in the rural Northeast Texas town of Cumby. Authorities say Ries fatally shot Ratliff in February 1999 as he slept, the drove off in Ratliff's car.

Ries would be the 12th prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state and the first of 2 scheduled to die this week. Two were executed last week and two more are set to die next week.

His attorney, James Terry Jr., wants justices to halt the punishment and examine his case, contending that Ries suffered from an incompetent attorney handling his previous appeals. Terry also argues that his client's trial lawyer failed to adequately show jurors how he was raised by a drug-addicted and alcoholic mother and how Ries was abused in some of the foster homes where he lived.

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