Georgia Inmate Whose Lawyer Was Drunk Seeks Clemency

Attorneys for Robert Holsey, an inmate on death row in Georgia, have filed a clemency petition before the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Holsey is scheduled to be executed on December 9, despite the fact that the lawyer who represented him at trial drank a quart of vodka a day and failed to present key evidence during the sentencing phase of Holsey’s trial. The lawyer was later disbarred for embezzling clients’ money and admitted that he was not fit to represent Holsey. Holsey’s new attorneys say that mitigating evidence of Holsey’s intellectual disabilities and abusive childhood should have been presented to the jury and could have resulted in a lesser sentence. Holsey has an IQ of about 70 and experienced severe abuse as a child. Brian Kammer, his current attorney, said, “The home where he lived in Milledgeville was known to the neighbors as the torture chamber because of the way they observed his mother to treat him, which was to beat him merciless.” The Board will hold Holsey’s clemency hearing on December 8.

(R. Scott, “Death Row Inmate Seeks Clemency Due To “Drunken Trial Lawyer”,” WABE, December 3, 2014.) See Representation and Clemency.