Texas Death Sentence

Overturned Third Time

AUSTIN -- A convicted killer whose case stirred national debate over whether mentally retarded inmates should be executed had his death sentence overturned for the third time Wednesday.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled 5 to 4, sent Johnny Paul Penry's case back for another punishment hearing. The court ruled that improper jury instructions prevented jurors from considering the full scope of Penry's claims of retardation.

The Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1989 and, in 2001, threw out his sentence but left the conviction intact. The court reasoned the jury was not allowed to properly weigh Penry's alleged retardation.

Penry was convicted of the 1979 killing of Pamela Moseley Carpenter, the sister of ex-Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley.

Tour Boat Destabilized

By Weight of 10 People

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- A tour boat nearly identical to the one that capsized here, killing 20 elderly tourists, became unstable after weight equivalent to just 10 people was placed at the edge of the vessel, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

The stability test found the Ethan Allen unsuited to handle the weight of the 48 adults who were aboard, said Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the NTSB.

During the test of the Ethan Allen's sister vessel, the de Champlain, investigators placed three 55-gallon barrels at the boat's edge, then filled them with water, at which point the boat became unstable. The combined weight of the barrels was about 1,400 pounds, or the equivalent of 10 adults as defined by Coast Guard standards.

* JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The center of Tropical Storm Tammy came ashore in north Florida after skirting the coast and sending heavy rain and gusty winds toward Georgia and the Carolinas. The storm's center came ashore near Mayport, home to a major naval station 15 miles east of Jacksonville.

* FORT BLISS, Tex. -- A U.S. interrogator accused of threatening to sexually assault prisoners in Afghanistan has been charged, the Army said. Pfc. Damien M. Corsetti, an interrogator with the 519th MI Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C., is the 15th soldier to face charges since the 2002 deaths of two detainees at Bagram Airfield.

-- From News Services