Robin Myers is a 53-year-old intellectually disabled black man who was convicted of capitalmurder and sentenced to death in 1993 for a crime he did not commit. With a vote of 9-to-3, an overwhelmingly white jury in Decatur, Ala., recommended that Robin be sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole. The elected judge presiding over the case overrode the jury and ordered his execution instead.
Alabama is one of only three states that allows for such judicial override and it stands alone in giving a judge no guidance in exercising this power. In the last 15 years, shockingly, Alabama is the only state to ever use judicial override to sentence someone to death. To quote U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, “[I]t approaches the most literal sense of the word ‘arbitrary’ to put one to death in the face of a contrary jury determination where it is accepted that the jury had indeed responsibly carried out its task.”
In all of Robin’s post-conviction proceedings, he and his counsel have argued that he should not be executed because he is innocent and intellectually disabled. Additionally, Alabama’s decision to execute Robin is a direct violation of a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found the execution of an intellectually disabled inmate to be cruel and unusual and, therefore, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And because Robin’s counsel abandoned him in the midst of his post-conviction proceedings, these claims have never been fully addressed by any court.
Today, Robin faces the reality of execution on June 18, 2015. Your signature to this petition is not a vote for his innocence. It is a vote for justice, and one that will hopefully compel the state of Alabama and Gov. Robert Bentley to grant Robin clemency from an elected judge’s
arbitrary decision and allow him to serve the sentence the jury of his peers intended –– Life Without the Possibility of Parole.
Kacey L. Keeton
Assistant Federal Defender
Federal Defenders, Middle District of Alabama
817 S. Court Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
(334) 834-2099 (telephone)
(334) 834-0353 (fax)