Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ronell Wilson's Atkines ID/MR death penalty decision to be appealed

Andrew Keshner, New York Law Journal, March 23, 2016

The Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office will appeal a judge's decision to vacate a death sentence for a man convicted of murdering two police officers.

Prosecutors filed notice Tuesday saying they would challenge the decision to undo Ronell Wilson's death sentence. Eastern District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said Wilson was ineligible for capital punishment because he was intellectually disabled in the eyes of the law (NYLJ, March 16).
Garaufis had ruled in February 2013 that Wilson was not intellectually disabled and, therefore, eligible for capital punishment. Later that year, a jury said Wilson deserved death for the 2003 killings of undercover detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin. Wilson appealed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sent the case back to Garaufis to review Wilson's mental capacity in light of a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case, Hall v. Florida, 134 S. Ct. 1986.

On March 15, Garaufis said he would impose life imprisonment without the possibility of parole based on a "careful interpretation of evolving Supreme Court precedent and a sober review of the evidence." Wilson was convicted of the crimes in 2006; the same jury voted for execution. In 2010, the circuit kept the jury's guilt determination intact, but ordered retrial on the penalty phase. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Busa filed the notice of appeal in U.S. v.
Wilson. 04-cr-1016.

Prior posts at this blog regarding this Atkins case can be found here (access to court decisions) and here