Appeals Court Grants Stay of Execution in Texas Case

A federal court of appeals ordered Texas to delay Tuesday’s planned execution of Robert James Campbell. Defense attorneys made the motion for a stay of execution based on Campbell’s intellectual disability, according to the New York Times.

According to the defense, state prosecutors withheld evidence that Campbell was “mentally retarded,’’ which is the legal term for intellectual disability. The threshold for retardation is an IQ of “approximately 70,’’ and Campbell’s two IQ tests scored a 68 and a 71, according to the Times.

Justices found those test results were grounds for a stay. From the Times:

"We have been presented with evidence that Campbell, who will soon be executed unless we intervene, may not constitutionally be executed," wrote Judge James L. Dennis for the court. "It is regrettable that we are now reviewing evidence of intellectual disability at the eleventh hour before Campbell's scheduled execution," he wrote. However, from the record before us, it appears that we cannot fault Campbell or his attorneys, present or past, for the delay."

Earlier in the day, the court turned down a defense request for a stay based on Texas’s refusal to disclose the compounded chemicals it will use for the execution, according to the Times.

Campbell and another man, Leroy Lewis, were convicted of raping and killing Alexandra Rendon in 1991.


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