Attorneys for Bobby Wayne Woods are seeking to delay his December 3 execution because of his trial lawyer’s incompetent representation and the fact that Woods is mentally retarded. Woods’ current lawyer is asking the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for a 60-day reprieve so that it can assess Woods’ mental competency for execution. Attorney Maurie Levin, an adjunct law professor at the University of Texas, said that the prior lawyer failed to plead Woods’ mental disability, and, according to the clemency petition filed for Woods, “(the former attorney) has been suspended by the state bar and rebuked by and suspended from practice in the federal courts for his egregious missteps and incompetence as an appellate and post-conviction attorney for those condemned to death.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that defendants with mental retardation cannot be executed.

(C. Lindell, “Shoddy legal work alleged as execution nears,” Austin American-Statesman, December 1, 2009). Read more about Atkins v. Virgnia. See also Mental Retardation and Representation.