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 t
oday, 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.