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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  • by Another Mom Location: Abbeville on May 19, 2009 at 07:28 AM
    The woman he killed and the family of said woman didn't get a second chance and just because he isn't as smart as the average Joe doesn't mean that he should get away without paying fully for his crime. This woman's kids pay for it every day of their lives. It's amazing how EXCUSES work more for the offender than for the victims.
  • by LaTisha Location: alabama on May 18, 2009 at 04:58 PM
    I'm 26 years old and these years without my mother has been terrible.So i don't think that a cold blooded killer deserve life.its been 17years without my mother and my brothers and i havent seen any justice done.We all have kids that one day are gonna ask us about our mom.that they have never seen. Theres nothing wrong with that animal, He needs to be put to death.He took away from us a loving mother. who went out her way for anybody.
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