The 34th Execution of 2014
Georgia death row inmate Robert Wayne Holsey, a prisoner who claimed an intellectual disability, was executed on December 9,2014, reported the Washington Post. In the hours leading up to his death, the Supreme Court denied his appeal, in which he argued he had not been given the opportunity to demonstrate his disability during trial — a violation of his constitutional rights. In his petition, he said the state’s standard “creates an unacceptable risk of wrongful execution of the intellectually disabled,” according to USA Today.
The state said Holsey had been fairly represented and that he was not disabled at the time of his trial, claiming he “understood complicated legal concepts, and had a sophisticated vocabulary.” His IQ has been measured around 70, his lawyers said.
Holsey also argued his original trial attorney was an alcoholic who had admitted chugging a quart of vodka one day during the murder trial. The attorney has since been disbarred.
“Robert Wayne Holsey is an intellectually disabled African-American man who was represented at trial by a chronic alcoholic who was more concerned about avoiding his own criminal prosecution than defending his client against the death penalty,” Brian Kammer, Hosley’s current attorney, said, according to NBC News.
Hosley, 49, was convicted in the 1997 murder of Baldwin County sheriff’s Deputy Will Robinson, whom he shot moments after a convenience store robbery, court documents said.
Before his execution at the state prison in Jackson, Ga., Tuesday night, Holsey addressed the officer’s father.
“Mr. Robinson, I’m sorry for taking your son’s life that night,” he said. “He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Holsey added: “I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me and my family.”
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