In re Lewis

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The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus insofar as one of Petitioner’s claims alleged that he was ineligible for execution because he was intellectually disabled. The Court further vacated the judgment of the superior court in Petitioner’s criminal case to the extent it imposed a sentence of death. Petitioner was convicted of first degree murder and robbery. The jury returned a death verdict, which the court imposed. On remand from the Supreme Court, the trial court reinstated the judgment of death. The Supreme Court affirmed. Petitioner then filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that he was ineligible for execution because he was intellectually disabled. The Supreme Court issued an order to show cause and ordered a reference hearing in the superior court. A referee found that Petitioner was intellectually disabled. The Supreme Court adopted the referee’s findings regarding intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, holding that the findings were were substantially supported. Because Petitioner was intellectually disabled, he was entitled to relief from the death judgment under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 321 (2002), and In re Hawthorne, 35 Cal. 4th 40 (2005). View "In re Lewis" on Justia Law