High court to review death sentence in 1993 Troy murder case

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider throwing out the death sentence for a mentally impaired Alabama man convicted of killing his former lover.

(CBS/AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider throwing out the death sentence for a mentally impaired Alabama man
convicted of killing his former lover.

Holly Wood was convicted in the shooting death of his former girlfriend, Ruby Lois Gosha, in 1993. She was killed by a shotgun blast to her head as she slept in her home in Troy, Ala.

A federal judge tossed out the death sentence on the basis of the poor performance of Wood's lawyer in the sentencing phase of his trial. The lawyer, described in court papers as lacking criminal law experience, failed to tell jurors that Wood has an IQ of less than 70 and had been classified as mentally retarded.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the death sentence, ruling that Wood had failed to show that the lawyers was unconstitutionally ineffective.

The justices will review the appeals court ruling in a case that will be argued in late fall or winter.


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