Robert Leslie Roberson III - TX - 6/21/16 - Stayed

Started by Grinning Grim Reaper, January 28, 2016, 09:51:25 PM

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Grinning Grim Reaper

Texas man convicted of killing daughter gets execution date

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - An East Texas man on death row for the slaying of his 2-year-old daughter 14 years ago has received an execution date.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said Thursday 49-year-old Robert Roberson III is set for lethal injection June 21. He's one of at least nine convicted killers scheduled for execution in Texas through July.

Roberson was convicted of the death of his daughter, Nikki Curtis, at their Palestine home. He contended the child died of a fall from a bed. Physicians at a Palestine hospital said there was no way her extensive injuries could have been caused by a fall.

The U.S. Supreme Court has on its docket next month a request to review an appeal for him that's already rejected by lower federal courts.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?


I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

Grinning Grim Reaper

Death Row Inmate Who Killed Daughter Pursues Clemency

by Johnathan Silver

After the U.S. Supreme Court denied his bid for a new trial on Tuesday, a lawyer for Texas death row inmate Robert Roberson III says his client is seeking clemency from the state's Board of Pardon and Paroles with his June 21 execution date approaching.

Roberson, on death row for killing his two-year-old daughter in 2002, told the high court his right to due process was violated when his trial judge did not allow an expert to testify about mental lapses he suffered due to a brain injury.  :P

"Obviously I'm not happy about the denial of the cert petition," said Seth Kretzer, one of Roberson's attorneys. "That being said, probably 98 percent of all cert petitions get denied. We were hopeful, but you know your odds before going into these things."

The testimony Roberson's expert would have given during his trial, if allowed, could have confused a jury, been misleading or received undue weight, the state had argued in court filings. And even if the judge made a mistake by excluding the testimony, the error probably wouldn't have changed the jury's decision, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Morris wrote for the state.

The state also contended that the trial court didn't have to admit evidence of mental disease or capacity that would have challenged whether Roberson intentionally killed his daughter, especially because an insanity defense was not used.

Texas does not allow defendants to assert a diminished-capacity defense in which they argue they shouldn't be held responsible because they weren't fully aware of their actions. The state, though, does allow a defendant to argue they did not have the mental ability to have criminal intent, which was Roberson's defense, Kretzer said.

But barring one defense and not the other doesn't make sense, he said.

"Those two concepts are fundamentally opposed," Kretzer said. "If you don't allow diminished capacity, but you do allow someone to show that they didn't have the ability to form the criminal intent, aren't you inherently saying that they have diminished capacity?"

Before this petition, Roberson had another before the high court late last year. During the appeals process, Roberson sought new attorneys, saying his appointed ones, Kretzer and Wes Volberding, were ineffective and had conflicts of interest that prevented them from fully fighting for him. He went to Texas Defender Service, whose attorneys filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to order a lower court to appoint a third attorney. The court denied that request in December.

Kretzer said he doesn't expect the parole board to take up the request until closer to the execution date.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

Issue of Mental Health Assessment a Focus as 3 Fight Death Sentences

 Randall Mays is on death row for killing two sheriff's deputies. Scott Panetti was sentenced to die for killing his estranged wife's parents. And a jury condemned Robert Roberson for killing his 2-year-old daughter.

 Beyond being on Texas' death row, the three share another common thread: their attorneys are challenging whether the criminal justice process addresses the issue of mental illness fairly and comprehensively when weighing the death penalty for killers.  :P

 In each case, trial prosecutors and attorneys for the state have argued the men intentionally killed their victims and understand why they were convicted and sentenced to death, a constitutional benchmark before the condemned can be executed.

 But attorneys for the men argue that although their clients are killers, their documented mental health histories could negate the intentional killing argument and therefore raise the question of whether execution is cruel and unusual punishment.  :P

Though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can't execute the intellectually disabled, an exact legal definition of that condition remains open to debate. Any of these three cases could ultimately help clarify that issue for others in similar situations.

 Mays' and Panetti's attorneys argue their clients aren't competent to be executed. Roberson's attorneys say his right to due process was violated at trial.  :P

 Criminal justice experts say that determining mental health can be hard for anyone, including judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and jurors. They say the cases of Mays, Panetti and Roberson are key in furthering the discussion in how mental health is gauged when applying the death penalty.

 "When a defendant has mental or emotional problems, those problems don't just affect his or her conduct at the time of the crime," said Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. "They affect the way he or she is able to relate to his [or her] lawyers, to the defense lawyers, and the way they appear to the court and the way they appear to the jury."  :P

Thoroughly gauging one's illness takes training, which many in the criminal justice system may not have, he said.

 "Mental illness is a complicated phenomenon, which some people who are luridly psychotic, the disorder may be obvious, but even people who are psychotic are not psychotic all the time," Dunham said.  :P

Robert Roberson

 Roberson, 49, was sentenced to death in 2003 for fatally beating his 2-year-old daughter, Nikki, in Palestine. He faces a June 21 execution.

 During his trial, his attorneys argued that he was trying to quiet his daughter and lost his temper as a result of a brain injury. Roberson's fight might not see a happy ending.

 But prosecutors said the killing was intentional, calling witnesses who said that his daughter's injuries were consistent with signs of shaking, bruising and blunt force trauma. Witnesses testified that Roberson had a bad temper and would shake and spank Nikki when she wouldn't stop crying.

 Roberson's attorneys have said his due process was violated because Roberson wasn't allowed to have an expert testify at his trial that he thought Roberson suffers from mental lapses from his brain injury. Saying that a jury probably wouldn't have found him guilty if it had heard about his mental history, the attorneys are asking an appeals court to throw out his conviction. He's now represented by Texas Defender Service attorneys, who declined to comment on his case.

 Doug Lowe, the Anderson County district attorney during the trial, told The Texas Tribune that if Roberson wanted to raise his mental health as an issue at trial, he should have pleaded insanity. You either have insanity or you don't, Lowe said.

 "So they're saying we don't want to go [for] insanity, but we do want to slip this evidence in to say that he didn't intend to commit the crime and therefore it's not murder," Lowe said. "It wasn't an intentional or knowing act. They want to have it both ways."

 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 2006 case that states aren't required to admit mental health evidence by the defense if they aren't pleading insanity.

 During the appeals process, the state has pointed to that case, Clark v. Arizona. Roberson did not launch an insanity defense at trial.

 When insanity isn't used as a defense, judges often determine that mental health evidence is irrelevant, said George Dix, a professor in the University of Texas School of Law. Intent to kill is not a complicated mental state to be in, he said.

 "In many of the cases, if you carefully analyze what the expert is offering to testify to, he's essentially offering to testify that although the defendant did intend to kill, or intended to assault in other cases, his decision to do that was influenced by a pretty distorted perception of reality," Dix said.

 Denied relief twice by the U.S. Supreme Court, Roberson has shifted focus to clemency, with a request before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

Friday, June 17, 2016

Texas death row inmate Robert Roberson III granted stay of execution

There is breaking news in the case of Texas death row inmate Robert Roberson, who had a June 21 execution date.

Robert Roberson received a stay of execution today, after the Court of Criminal Appeals found that the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs had presented compelling evidence that his capital murder conviction was based on flawed science.

The CCA has stayed the execution and sent the case back to state district court for a hearing.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

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