1 Texas death row inmate gets appeal, 2nd inmate rejected

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court is allowing a 52-year-old inmate on Texas death row for nearly 25 years for a double slaying in Houston to move forward with an appeal and is upholding the conviction of a another prisoner condemned for the shooting deaths of four people in suburban Dallas in 2004.

In the Houston case, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to consider whether trial jurors should have been shown Rick Allan Rhoades' childhood photos, whether jurors improperly were told he could be released from a life sentence and whether two potential jurors improperly were disqualified.

In the second case, the appeals court has rejected claims from 36-year-old Raul Cortez that his lawyers were deficient at his trial for the quadruple shooting in McKinney in 2004.