Death sentence overturned for intellectually disabled man
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court says a man who has been on death row for more than three decades can’t be executed because he’s intellectually disabled.
In a unanimous decision Thursday, the court overturned the death sentence of Robert Lewis Jr.
Lewis was convicted of murder and robbery in the stabbing and shooting death of Milton Estell in Long Beach in October 1983.
The state’s highest court cited “substantial evidence” that the 65-year-old Lewis is intellectually disabled, including low IQ scores.
Prosecutors had argued that Lewis should remain on death row, saying that he managed to successfully gamble in Las Vegas, bantered with police during questioning and has “street smarts.”
Lewis’ attorney, Robert Sanger, says his client’s sentence will be reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.