UPCOMING EXECUTIONS: Arizona to Execute Defendant with History of Mental Problems

On February 29, Arizona is scheduled to execute Robert Moorman, who was sentenced to death for a 1984 murder. Moorman’s representatives have said the crime was committed after years of sexual abuse by the defendant’s adoptive mother, whom he then killed and dismembered her body. Moorman was diagnosed with mental retardation and attended special education classes while in public school. His first stay at a mental institution occurred when he was 13. At a recent clemency hearing, Moorman said he did not remember the details of the murder. His health has slowly deteriorated while in prison. He had a stroke in 2007 and underwent a quintuple bypass last November. Moorman was born to a 15-year-old girl who drank heavily and engaged in prostitution, according to court records and testimony at his clemency hearing. His father abandoned him and his mother died at age 17. He then went to live with his maternal grandparents until he was put up for adoption because of his grandfather’s alcohol abuse. UPDATE: Moorman was executed on Feb. 29.

(M. Kiefer, “Execution to conclude shocking Arizona murder case,” Arizona Republic News, February 26, 2012). See Intellectual Disability and Mental Illness.