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Thursday, 1 October 2020

Man, 60, who spent four decades on death row is released from prison after US Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional to execute him because of his intellectual disabilities

 A Texas man who served nearly 40 years on death row has been released from jail after the US Supreme Court ruled it would be unconstitutional to execute him because he is intellectually disabled. 

Bobby James Moore, 60, was freed from prison on August 6th, and now lives with his brother, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Moore was just 20 years old when he was convicted of capital murder in 1980. 

In April of that year, he fatally shot 72-year-old grocery store clerk James McCarble during a botched robbery in Houston. 

According to a 2019 article in Chron, Moore was a carpenter who 'failed every grade in school, did not understand the days of the week by age 13, and ate from neighbors' garbage cans.' 

Bobby James Moore, 60, has been released from prison after spending 40 years on death row. Last year,  the US Supreme Court ruled that he cannot be executed because he is intellectually disabled. He is pictured in a 1980 mug shot

Bobby James Moore, 60, has been released from prison after spending 40 years on death row. Last year,  the US Supreme Court ruled that he cannot be executed because he is intellectually disabled. He is pictured in a 1980 mug shot 

Moore's attorney's took his case all the way to the US Supreme Court in 2017, where the Justices sided with him 5-3. Their decision prompted Texas to come up with new standards to measure intellectual disabilities. 

However, the case returned to the Texas Court of Appeals, where a judge ruled that Moore did not meet those new standards. 

Moore, pictured in an undated photograph, has spent two thirds of his life in prison. He was released last month and is now living with his brother

Moore, pictured in an undated photograph, has spent two thirds of his life in prison. He was released last month and is now living with his brother 

Moore's lawyers went back to the Supreme Court. Last year, in a 6-3 decision, the Court again ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute Moore due to his mental abilities.   

Conservative Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh sided with the majority.  

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals subsequently agreed to uphold the higher court's decision in 2019 and changed Moore's sentence to life in prison. 

He was granted parole in June.

News of Moore's release comes the same month that Texas' highest court commuted the death sentences of two other inmates due to their intellectual disabilities.

On September 23, the Court of Criminal Appeals changed the sentence of Gilmar Guevara, 50, to life in prison. 

Guevera, of El Salvador, was convicted and sentenced to death for the June 2000 fatal shootings of 48-year-old Tae Youk, of South Korea, and 21-year-old Gerardo Yaxon, of Guatemala, during the attempted robbery of a Houston convenience store. 


Meanwhile, on September 16, the Court also commuted the death sentence of cop killer Juan Lizcano.

Lizcano, now 43, was convicted of capital murder in the November 2005 shooting death of 28-year-old Dallas Police Officer Brian Jackson.

Jackson had been responding to a domestic disturbance call at the home of Lizcano's former girlfriend when he was shot. He had been on the Dallas police force for nearly five years.

Testimony at his trial showed that Lizcano had the communication skills of a 8- to 10-year-old and was about 16 when he left school still unable to read.

Lizcano will now spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance of parole. 

This month, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has commuted the death sentences of two other inmates due to their intellectual disabilities. Gilmar Guevara (pictured) has been spared execution
Cop killer Juan Lizcano (pictured) has also been saved from death row

This month, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has commuted the death sentences of two other inmates due to their intellectual disabilities. Gilmar Guevara (left) and Juan Lizcano (right) have both been spared execution 

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