Texas court stays execution for intellectual disability review

By Daniel Uria  |  June 5, 2018 at 9:00 PM
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June 5 (UPI) -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Tuesday stayed the execution of a man convicted of murdering a 93-year-old woman so his mental capacity can be reviewed.

Clifton Lamar Williams, 34, was scheduled to be executed June 21, for the murder of Cecilia Schneider during a home robbery in 2005, but his lawyers argued he is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible to be executed.

Williams, who has an IQ in the mid-60s, broke into Schneider's home at the age of 21, killed her, burned her body and fled in her car, according to court records.

On Tuesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decided to send Williams' case to a lower court for a hearing to consider his mental capability.

"We remand this application to the convicting court for a live hearing to further develop evidence and make a new recommendation to this court on the issue of intellectual disability," the court wrote.

Prior attempts to have Williams' execution stayed were denied, but Texas has since re-evaluated how it determines intellectual disability for death-row inmates.

The change came after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Texas' method for determining intellectual disability used outdated medical standards in the case of another death-row inmate, Bobby Moore.

Since the change the sentences of two men on Texas' death row have been commuted to life in prison based on claims of intellectual disability.

Williams' execution was the first to be stopped by the court in 2018.

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