Wednesday, July 2

Texas Death Penalty Case Stirs Up New Orleans Federal Judges

The 5Th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered a federal evidentiary hearing for 29 year old Michelle Wayne Hall who was sentenced to die for his part in the murder of a 19- year -old woman in 1998. The three judge panel criticized the trial court and the highest appeals court for the mishandling of the case by not allowing a full and fair hearing of evidence, but instead relied solely on written arguments. The Texas courts ignored evidence of the possibility that Hall is mentally retarded. Three IQ tests on file show that his IQ was below 70 which is considered mentally retarded and making Hall ineligible for the death penalty. Each judge involved in the trial case believed that they could sort through all of the evidence themselves instead of allowing testimony from the defendant which in the opinion of the New Orleans judges was a direct violation of due process and Hall's right of confrontation. Robert Neville Jr. who was also involved in the murder was executed in 2006.


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