Texas death row inmate Daniel declared competent

A man convicted of killing an Austin police officer in 2012 wants to speed up his execution. After a court ordered a mental evaluation, a judge says that Brandon Daniel can fire his lawyer and represent himself.

It's a right every citizen has. Convicted killer Brandon Daniel will become his own lawyer in the courtroom.

Mr. Daniel has asked to have his writ attorneys removed and allow himself to represent himself on appeal.

Back in 2012, Daniel shot and killed Austin police officer Jaime Padron inside a Wal-Mart in north Austin. He underwent two psychological evaluations and Judge Brenda Kennedy granted his request to remove his lawyers. She says Daniel is completely competent and in his right mind.

“It's very sad , the situation for the victim and his family, and even for Brandon as well,” said Ariel Payan, Daniel’s Appellate Attorney.

Payan is responsible for his direct appeal, an appeal that is required by law. Daniel's indirect appeal is what he does not want.

“The point of the appellate process is to make sure there are not any legal errors, at least on the direct appeal,” said Payan.

Payan says once the court of criminal appeals responds to the case, Daniel could become closer to his execution date.

“He cannot waive his direct appeal. It was something he wanted to do, he wanted to waive his direct appeal, but the law is very clear he cannot do that,” said Payan.

Payan says it's an unfortunate tale of two lives lost.

“He had a bright future  in front of him and this thing happened,” said Payan.

Attorney Payan says it's a process that could take anywhere from a year to 5 years. Daniel has made it clear that he has come to terms with his fate.

In most cases, the indirect appeal is a time for the convicted person to present new evidence that could assist in overturning their conviction. Daniel does not want to overturn his conviction.

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