7th Circuit will hear killer’s appeal en banc

October 31, 2014

The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether an Arkansas man on death row should die for killing a Texas woman nearly 20 years ago. The judges decided Wednesday to grant Bruce Carneil Webster’s petition for rehearing en banc.

In August, Judges Frank Easterbrook, William Bauer and Diane Sykes rejected Webster’s claim he shouldn’t be put to death because he is mentally retarded. Webster presented evidence at his trial to support his claim and the prosecution presented evidence to the contrary and claimed he was trying to use the diagnosis to get out of the death penalty.

Webster lost his appeal in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge William Lawrence in the Southern District of Indiana denied his petition for collateral relief. Webster is incarcerated in Terre Haute.  

As a result of granting the petition to hear en banc, the August opinion and judgment have been vacated. Oral argument will be heard, although the date has not yet been set.


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