White House man, Texas death row inmate, sues prison officials

The lawsuit says Beatty applied for clemency, a process in which a governor, president or administrative board reduces a sentence or grants a pardon, on Oct. 19.

WHITEHOUSE, Texas — A Whitehouse man sentenced to death for the 2003 murder of his mother filed a lawsuit last Friday, claiming his upcoming execution in early November may be unconstitutional due to improper mental health evaluations.

Tracy Beatty, 61, has been on death row since being sentenced to death in August 2004 for the capital murder of her mother Carolyn “Callie” Ruth Click, whom he strangled and then buried in the back -court.

The lawsuit claims that Beatty was not given the chance to have a mental evaluation without being in handcuffs in prison.

Those named in the lawsuit are Bryan Collier, executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; Bobby Lumpkin, director of the Corrections Division of the TDCJ; and Daniel Dickerson, Senior Warden of the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, where Beatty is imprisoned.

His lawyer states throughout the trial that the handcuffs prevent doctors from performing a full evaluation to determine whether or not Beatty has a developmental disability.

Those with developmental disabilities cannot be executed under the 8th Amendment through the 2002 Supreme Court decision Atkins v. Virginia.

In September, Dr. Bhushan Agharkar and Dr. Daniel Martell provided assessments of Beatty’s mental health.

In Agharkar’s assessment, the doctor said Beatty is “clearly psychotic and has a complex paranoid delusional belief system”. The lawsuit claims Beatty believes a conspiracy by correctional officers is “torturing” him by using a device in his ear so that he “hears their threatening voices”. Agharkar also discovered that Beatty believes officers, including those not in prison, “read and broadcast” his thoughts to others.

In the lawsuit, it is noted that Agharkar could not administer valuable neurological tests because Beatty was handcuffed.

The document also lists “red flags” showing that Beatty needs mental health assessments, such as being taken to jail usually for those with serious mental health issues, being hit in the head with a baseball bat at age 8 and taking drugs for bipolar mania.

He is also receiving treatment for Darier’s disease, a rare skin condition that experts say can cause significant impairment in cognitive functioning, the lawsuit explained.

According to the lawsuit, prison officials claimed a court order was needed for inmates to be assessed in handcuffs. The document notes that this was not required for every inmate “with an execution date”.

“Their treatment of Mr. Beatty is arbitrary, capricious and inconsistent with their treatment of other death row inmates nearing execution,” the lawyer wrote in the document.

TDCJ officials cleared inmates, other than Beatty, from being handcuffed with approved representatives for neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric and medical evaluations, according to the lawsuit.

Beatty’s legal team also said blocking an assessment, in which he is not handcuffed, hinders his ability to present evidence that his death sentence should be commuted or reduced.

The lawsuit says Beatty applied for clemency, a process in which a governor, president or administrative board reduces a sentence or grants a pardon, on Oct. 19.

“The defendants’ actions prevented Mr. Beatty from identifying information relevant to his mental health and brain function that could form the basis of viable legal claims,” ​​the document states. “People with mental disabilities are exempt from execution under the Eighth Amendment.”

While other death row inmates were allowed uncuffed visits, the attorney said Beatty was deprived of his “constitutional right to equal protection of the law”.

Beatty’s attorneys are seeking a judgment declaring that the actions of prison officials violate Beatty’s constitutional and statutory rights.

They also want an order to stop Beatty’s execution until Agharkar and Martell can assess him without being handcuffed, and until Beatty has time to use the results for his clemency petition. and other disputes.

According to previous reports from the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Beatty killed his mother Callie Click two days before Thanksgiving 2003. She had told him to leave her house, where he was staying after serving a prison sentence for intentionally injuring his 18-month-old niece. . .

Beatty and Click had a rocky relationship, but witnesses said she forgave him when he came to her house in October, the Tyler Paper reported.

In addition to strangling her mother, Beatty beat her badly, broke her bones and injured her head. He burned his things, stole his car and used credit cards to buy drugs and alcohol, according to court records obtained by the Tyler Paper.

According to the Morning Telegraph, Beatty was arrested in Henderson County for car theft and he told inmates he killed his mother. He asked investigators to let him guide them to Click’s body to “get her out of the hole before Christmas.”

“On December 23, 2003, dead dogs found his naked, twisted body in a small, shallow grave behind his pale yellow trailer in Whitehouse,” the Tyler Paper article read.

The newspaper said Beatty buried her with mothballs and garlic, covered her in kitty litter and wood, and tied pantyhose over her neck and face.

During the trial, psychiatrists said Beatty’s behavior was consistent with “the continuing state of ‘antisocial personality disorder’, but that he was not mentally ill, according to the Morning Telegraph.

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