“Bobby Moore’s death sentence is officially changed to life in prison after lengthy court fights over intellectual disability” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Bobby Moore has been on Texas’ death row for 39 years. On Wednesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals officially changed his death sentence to one of life in prison, ending a years-long battle between the high courts in Texas and the nation.
Now 60, Moore was sentenced to death in 1980 in the fatal shooting of an elderly store clerk in a Houston robbery. His attorneys have argued for years that he is intellectually disabled, and therefore ineligible for the death penalty. The Court of Criminal Appeals has repeatedly disagreed, ruling twice that he did not qualify as intellectually disabled, including once after the U.S. Supreme Court had already slammed its first ruling.
But when the case went back to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices made a clear determination in February that Moore was intellectually disabled, tying the hands of the Texas court.
“Having concluded that Applicant is a person with intellectual disability that is exempt from the death penalty, the Supreme Court has resolved Applicant’s claim in his favor,” the court wrote in its ruling Wednesday. “There is nothing left for us to do but to implement the Supreme Court’s holding.”
Cliff Sloan, one of Moore’s attorneys, applauded the resolution.
“We greatly appreciate that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has implemented the Supreme Court decision and has ensured that justice is done regarding the inappropriateness of the death penalty for Bobby Moore,” Sloan said.
Because Moore was sentenced to death in 1980 — before the punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole was enacted and prisoners were eligible for parole after 20 years — he will automatically be eligible for parole.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2019/11/06/texas-bobby-moore-death-row-life-in-prison-intellectual-disability/.
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