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An appeals court granted a Texas death row inmate a stay of execution after only hours earlier denying a previous stay request.
As previously reported, Robert James Campbell argued two different angles in a desperate bid for a stay of execution. One defense that the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied involved the drugs Texas used for executions, which was denied as his appeal was based mainly on speculation, which "is not enough."
While that argument failed, the court issued a stay on the grounds that Campbell isn't eligible for capital punishment due to mental disability. The New York Times notes that those who are considered mentally retarded cannot be executed. His lawyers argued that since his I.Q. is "approximately 70," Campbell is essentially mentally disabled.
Judge James L. Dennis wrote, "We have been presented with evidence that Campbell, who will soon be executed unless we intervene, may not constitutionally be executed." Dennis added, "It is regrettable that we are now reviewing evidence of intellectual disability at the eleventh hour before Campbell’s scheduled execution."
Campbell was sentenced to death after being found guilty in 1991 of murdering Alexandra Rendon. Along with a partner, he also raped and robbed her.