Death Penalty

Fifth Circuit Court Stays Texas Execution Scheduled for Tonight

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not today
via deathrow-usa.com

The Fifth Circuit Court ruled today that Texas could not proceed with tonight's scheduled execution of Robert Campbell, who the state found to be mentally retarded, because he was mentally incompetent, in line with the 2002 Supreme Court decision on such executions. From a statement by one of Campbell's attorneys:

Mr. Campbell has been fully evaluated by a highly qualified psychologist – a member of the Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists, appointed to that post by Governor Rick Perry – who confirms he is a person with mental retardation. Therefore, according to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, he is ineligible for the death penalty. Given the state's own role in creating the regrettable circumstances that led to the Fifth Circuit's decision today, the time is right for the State of Texas to let go of its efforts to execute Mr. Campbell, and resolve this case by reducing his sentence to life imprisonment.

The successful appeal was one of two pursued by Campbell; the other targeted the controversy surrounding the drugs used in lethal injections, which led to a botched execution in Oklahoma last month. Texas won't say where it got the drugs it uses in its lethal injection from; many pharmaceutical companies have moved to stop selling such drugs to governments using them to execute people. Last week, Jacob Sullum explained how the medicalization of executions sanitizes them and helps maintain a level of public opinion support for the death penalty.

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  1. The Fifth Circuit Court ruled today that Texas could not proceed with tonight’s scheduled execution of Robert Campbell, who the state found to be mentally retarded, because he was mentally incompetent, in line with the 2002 Supreme Court decision on such executions. From a statement by one of Campbell’s attorneys:

    That’s not nice.

  2. Maybe they are just waiting for Bob Dylan to finish a song about him.

  3. If they just shot or beheaded convicted killers, as Jacob Sullum hints at, would the result be *less* public support for the death penalty, as compared to the pseudo-medical crap going on now?

  4. This is from one of the linked articles (in the Florida Times-Union):

    “Campbell was convicted of capital murder for the January 1991 slaying of a 20-year-old Houston bank teller, Alexandra Rendon. She was abducted while putting gas into her car, robbed, raped and shot.”

    I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the death penalty – at least not in its present form – but the media’s downplaying of the crimes (this nugget was far down in the article) kind of makes me want to push back.

    Is anyone suggesting there’s a connection between retardation and crimes like this? That seems offensive to people who are retarded.

    There’s lots of retarded people, but they generally don’t abduct, rob and rape young women.

    Intelligence and alignment are not the same thing.

    1. True, but SCOTUS has said that executing the mentally retarded is unconstitutional…

      1. I know what they said.

        1. If he is retarded, does that not mean he was not competent to stand trial anyway?

    2. nugget

      Racist.

      If anyone doubts it, observe that the ‘u’ is just beside the ‘i’ and the ‘t’ is just beside the ‘r’ on a QWERTYUI keyboard.

      (Constant alertness is a must in order to successfully unmask the saboteurs, wreckers and kulaks who try to undermine the workers’ state.)

  5. This article for some reason doesn’t mention that the prosecutors knew at the time of the prosecution that he had an IQ of 68 and didn’t provide that documentation to defense counsel. Which, no matter what you think of this guy’s crime, is fucking shocking.

    1. Who gives a damn? This scumbag’s IQ was high enough to plan a kidnapping, rape and murder. Put a slug in his brain and be done with it.

      1. This scumbag’s IQ was high enough to plan a kidnapping, rape and murder

        Right, but they gave him an IQ test that he was able to screw up enough to prove he was retarded, so you can’t execute him. His actions prove that he has the capability for rational planning and execution of heinous acts. He ought to be executed as soon as possible.

    2. I don’t give a shit if he was “able to comprehend”.

      We shoot rabid dogs too…

  6. What is the value of his victim’s life?

  7. Maybe they should cut his goddamned balls off and see if that improves his IQ enough to execute the piece of shit. You know – extra blood supply to the brain and all that.

  8. I fucking love this website. And you guys. First thing I thought was “I wonder how many commenters are going to look for what he did to DESERVE the death penalty in first place…?”
    EPIC FUCKING WIN. This is why I’m a libertarian…

  9. Free to murder if you are a retard. Great. It appears he is smart enought to celebrate. Another victory for the racist black war on whites. Aided by libertarians.

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