20 pages of death row inmates' appeals are identical, even errors Angel Maturino Resendiz, the train-hopping "Railroad Killer" from Mexico, randomly murdered at least 9 people in gruesome fashion in the late 1990s.
Robert Gene Will, a young car thief sporting tattoos of a handgun and the Grim Reaper, was convicted of fatally shooting a Harris County deputy in the face.
The 2 men have little in common beyond an address on Texas' death row - and one other curious detail. The bulk of their legal briefs, filed 1 1/2 years apart by a Houston lawyerappointed to appeal their cases, are word-for-word identical, right down to a capitalizationerror on page 17.
Labeled "generic" and "lackluster" by another death-penalty defense lawyer in court documents, the relatively brief appeals avoid common death-penalty arguments: questions of mental illness, mitigating circumstances or other specifics designed to show why a defendant should be spared execution.
Instead, the appeals focus primarily on a single technical challenge to Texas law on death penalty jury instructions, without mentioning Resendiz or Will by name or referring to their trials.