U.S. Supreme Court ruling for condemned Alabama inmate may affect Arkansas cases | Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 19, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court ruling for condemned Alabama inmate may affect Arkansas cases

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 12:35 PM

ARKANSAS INMATES: Bruce Ward and Don Davis have death penalty appeals that could be affected by as U.S. Supreme Court decision today.
  • ARKANSAS INMATES: Bruce Ward and Don Davis have death penalty appeals that could be affected by as U.S. Supreme Court decision today.
The United States Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 decision, said an Alabama inmate should have had an independent mental health review before his trial and death sentence in the rape and slaying of a Tuscaloosa woman.

As I wrote back in May, this case has implications for two pending death cases in Arkansas, those of Don Davis and Bruce Ward. They were among the eight oerdered to die over a 10-day span by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, but the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed their executions because of claims they wanted to make about mental capacity.

As in the Alabama case, the Arkansas inmates argue that they were denied access to independent experts to testify about their lack of intellectual capacity.

Each case is decided on specific circumstances, of course, but it seems likely that the lawyers for Davis and Ward are now armed with more court precedent to extend the proceedings for their clients.



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