- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - Texas’ top criminal court has ruled it was improper for a Dallas County jury to give an automatic life-without-parole sentence to a man they convicted of a double killing in West Dallas committed in 2008 when he was 17.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday sent the case of now 24-year-old Cesar Ivan Chavez back to Dallas for a new punishment hearing. A jury will decide whether his life sentence will be with or without parole.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 ruled the mandatory life-without-parole life sentence for defendants under 18 was unconstitutional. When Chavez was tried for capital murder in 2010, it was the only sentence available under Texas law. He’s among more than a dozen Texas prisoners whose cases are affected by the Supreme Court ruling,


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