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December 5 2009 | UNITED STATES

Teaxas/USA

Texas executes Bobby Woods, clearly affected by a mental disease

 
printable version

ANSA .

PENA MORTE: TEXAS;INIEZIONE LETALE PER DISABILE MENTALE
KILLER DI BAMBINA AVEVA QUOZIENTE INTELLIGENZA SOTTO 70.

NEW YORK, 4 DIC - Bobby Woods, un uomo bianco di 44 anni con gravi handicap mentali, e' stato messo a morte in Texas dopo che la Corte Suprema ha deciso di non riaprire il suo caso.

Woods era stato riconosciuto colpevole di aver brutalmente stuprato e ucciso nel 1997 una ragazzina di 11 anni, la figlia della sua compagna.

Gia' nel 2002 la Corte Suprema aveva affrontato il quesito se una persona con problemi mentali possa essere condannata a morte senza pero' dare una risposta definitiva. In quell'occasione, il 'club dei nove' aveva deciso che i detenuti minorati non potessero essere messi a morte lasciando pero' alle singole Corti Statali il potere di stabilire se un singolo detenuto poteva essere definito tale o no.

Secondo test condotti in prigione, Woods aveva un quoziente di intelligenza pari a 68, due punti sotto la soglia generalmente convenuta del ritardo mentale. La magistratura del Texas, nell'ansia di ottenere una condanna a morte, aveva fatto ricorso ad altri esami condotti quando il prigioniero era bambino che avevano dato risultati moderatamente piu' alti.  Maury Levin, un professore di diritto dell'Universita' del Texas che faceva parte del collegio di difesa del condannato, ha definito l'esito del caso 'una farsa''. Woods ha ricevuto l'iniezione letale ed e' stato dichiarato morto alle 18:48, il 24/o condannato giustiziato in Texas nel 2009 e l'ultimo dell'anno.

Il caso del Texas non e' il solo che di recente ha sfidato il principio stabilito sette anni fa dalla Corte Superma che i minorati mentali non possono essere messi a morte. Studi recenti hanno documentato altre esecuzioni del genere in stati come il Texas e l'Alabama. Qualche giorno fa la commissione del Texas che esamina le sentenze aveva dato luce verde all'iniezione letale di Woods. Davanti alla Corte Suprema il ministro della Giustizia statale aveva definito inaffidabili i test di intelligenza condotti in prigione: ''Aveva ucciso, sapeva a cosa andava incontro e aveva ogni ragione per apparire piu' malato di quanto non fosse realmente''.

Woods e' stato messo a morte per aver stuprato e sgozzato la piccola Sarah Patterson dopo averla rapita con il fratellino Cody. Anche Cody era stato picchiato brutalmente, ma era sopravvissuto. La madre dei bambini, Schwana Patterson, non ha ricevuto il permesso di assistere all'esecuzione perche' lei stessa sta scontando una condanna per non aver protetto la figlia dagli abusi sessuali del suo convivente..

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Associated Press.

Texas executes killer of 11-year-old girl .

Texas _ A 44-year-old man was executed Thursday evening for raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl, despite pleas from his attorneys he was too mentally impaired to qualify for capital punishment.

Bobby Wayne Woods received lethal injection about a half-hour after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt his punishment, which was delayed briefly until the high court ruled in his case. His lawyers had argued Woods was mentally impaired, making him ineligible for execution, and that previous appeals to spare Woods' life were unsuccessful because of shoddy work by his lawyer at the time.

Tests administered to Woods put his IQ anywhere from the 60s to the 80s. An IQ of 70 is considered the threshold for mental impairment.

Woods was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die for the April 1997 slaying of Sarah Patterson, his ex-girlfriend's daughter. She and her 9-year-old brother were snatched from their home in Granbury, near Fort Worth.

Sarah's throat was slit with a knife. Her brother was beaten and left for dead but survived to testify against Woods.

Asked by a warden if he had a final statement, Woods lifted his head from the pillow on the death chamber gurney and replied: «Bye. I'm ready.» Eight minutes later, he was pronounced dead.

«I'm not a person that likes harm done to anybody, but I believe in justice being done,» Larry Patterson said after watching his daughter's killer die. «She had no choice.

She didn't get a second chance.» The execution was the 24th and last scheduled for this year in Texas, where 18 inmates received lethal injection in 2008 in the nation's busiest capital punishment state.

At least five already are scheduled for 2010, including two in January.

In the appeal to the Supreme Court, Woods' lawyer, University of Texas law professor Maurie Levin, argued the performance of Woods' state-appointed attorney during earlier appeals was «so egregious» the prisoner's mental impairment claims could not be accurately assessed. She pointed out the attorney has since been removed from a list of lawyers eligible to represent condemned inmates but by the time she got the case, «the damage had been done.» State attorneys told the high court no constitutional right exists for an inmate to have an effective appeals attorney and Woods' claim of due-process violations «does not change that fact.» They also argued Woods' mental impairment claims already have been rejected by the courts and the last-ditch appeals improperly duplicated those rejections.

Woods blamed Patterson's death on a cousin who subsequently committed suicide. He said injuries to her brother were the result of an accident.

«We went walking around graveyards, horsing around by a fence,» Woods told The Associated Press last year from death row. «Cody jumped on my back and hit a fence post.

«I guess I panicked.» At his trial, Cody Patterson testified Woods attacked him, and prosecutors presented a mountain of evidence implicating Woods in Sarah's killing, including signed confessions.

Richard Hattox, the former Hood County district attorney who prosecuted Woods, said authorities also had DNA evidence of the girl's blood on Woods' knife, her blood on his shoe and his DNA on her panties, which were found in Woods' car.

«How could there be little doubt?» Hattox said Wednesday. «Every bit of his appeal effort has been expended toward his claim of retardation. And there's no proof he is retarded.»

 

AFP

USA: un homme souffrant de retard mental exécuté au Texas

WASHINGTON, 3 déc 2009 - Bobby Woods, condamné à mort au  Texas pour le meurtre en 1997 d'une petite fille de 11 ans et  souffrant de retard mental a été exécuté jeudi soir au Texas (sud  des Etats-Unis), a-t-on appris auprès des autorités judiciaires de  cet Etat.

Bobby Woods, un Blanc de 44 ans, a été exécuté par injection  létale et a été déclaré mort à 18H48 (0H48 GMT vendredi).

La Cour suprême des Etats-Unis a ouvert la voie à cette  exécution malgré pas moins de trois recours distincts déposés devant  elle par les avocats de Woods au motif qu'il avait le développement  mental d'un enfant.

La plus haute juridiction des Etats-Unis a interdit en 2002  l'exécution des personnes attardées mentales mais a laissé les Etats  caractériser eux-mêmes ceux parmi les condamnés qui pouvaient être  classés dans cette catégorie.

De nombreuses voix s'étaient élevées pour demander à la Cour de  considérer la situation de cet homme qui avait le niveau de lecture  et d'écriture d'un enfant de sept ans. Et ceci d'autant plus qu'il a  été défendu depuis sa condamnation par un avocat médiocre.

Cet avocat "s'est distingué en étant l'un des deux seuls avocats  jamais exclus du barreau de la cour d'appel du Texas", expliquait  son avocate actuelle Maurie Levin dans un des recours déposés devant  la Cour suprême.

"Son avocat n'a pas présenté correctement les preuves de ses  difficultés mentales", a assuré par ailleurs dans un communiqué la  Coalition nationale pour l'Abolition de la peine de mort aux  Etats-Unis.

Selon le ministère de la Justice du Texas, Bobby Woods avait été  condamné à mort en 1998 par un jury pour le meurtre l'année  précédente de la fille de son ancienne petite amie, âgée de 11 ans.  Il était entré par effraction, avait frappé violemment son petit  frère de 9 ans qui a survécu, avant de la violer et de lui trancher  la gorge.

Il est le 24e homme exécuté en 2009 par le Texas, l'Etat  américain qui met à mort le plus de condamnés avec 447 exécutions  depuis le rétablissement de la peine de mort en 1976 sur 1.185 dans  tous les Etats-Unis.

Aucune autre exécution n'est programmée dans cet Etat avant  2010.

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