Ex parte Bobby Moore (original by judge johnson)Annotate this Case
In 1980, appellant was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for fatally shooting a seventy-year-old grocery clerk while committing or attempting to commit robbery. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the 1980 conviction and sentence. Following the grant of federal habeas corpus relief, the trial court held a new punishment hearing in February 2001. Appellant again received a death sentence. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment on direct appeal. In this initial writ application challenging his 2001 punishment retrial and death sentence, applicant raised forty-eight claims for relief. In January 2014, the habeas judge held a two-day evidentiary hearing on applicant’s first claim for relief, an allegation that he was intellectually disabled and therefore exempt from execution under the Supreme Court’s holding in "Atkins v. Virginia," (536 U.S. 304 (2002)). The habeas court signed applicant’s proposed Addendum Findings, which applied the definition of intellectual disability presently used by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and concluded that applicant was intellectually disabled under that definition. The Findings recommended that the Court of Criminal Appeals grant relief on appellant's Atkins claim. The Addendum Findings also concluded that applicant had established by a preponderance of the evidence that he was intellectually disabled under the diagnostic criteria stated in the fourth and fifth editions of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), i.e., the DSM-IV and DSM-V. The Court of Criminal Appeals set the case to address applicant’s Atkins allegation, and again denied relief on all of applicant’s claims: "Because our Legislature has not enacted legislation to implement Atkins’s mandate, we continue to follow the AAMR’s 1992 definition of intellectual disability that we adopted in 'Briseno' for Atkins claims presented in Texas death-penalty cases. [. . .] The habeas judge therefore erred by disregarding our case law and employing the definition of intellectual disability presently used by the AAIDD, a definition which notably omits the requirement that an individual’s adaptive behavior deficits, if any, must be 'related to' significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning." The Court held that applicant did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he was intellectually disabled under Atkins and Briseno. Accordingly, applicant was not exempt from the death penalty.