Ex parte Bobby James Moore (original by presiding judge keller)Annotate this Case
In this habeas proceeding, Applicant Bobby Moore sought to be exempted from the death penalty on the ground that he was intellectually disabled. The habeas court agreed with Moore, citing what it considered to be the contemporary standards for an intellectual disability diagnosis. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed with the habeas court for a variety of reasons falling within two overarching categories: (1) because the habeas court failed to follow standards set out in Texas caselaw, and (2) because the habeas court failed to consider, or unreasonably disregarded, “a vast array of evidence in this lengthy record that cannot rationally be squared with a finding of intellectual disability.” The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' decision, concluding that some of the standards in Texas caselaw did not comport with the Eighth Amendment’s requirements regarding an intellectual disability determination. Having received guidance from the Supreme Court on the appropriate framework for assessing claims of intellectual disability, the Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the framework set forth in the American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders, 5th Ed. "Although the Supreme Court has vindicated some of the habeas court’s analysis with respect to the proper framework to apply to intellectual disability claims, it remains true under our newly adopted framework that a vast array of evidence in this record is inconsistent with a finding of intellectual disability. Reviewing Applicant’s claims under the DSM-5 framework, we conclude that he has failed to demonstrate adaptive deficits sufficient to support a diagnosis of intellectual disability. Consequently, we disagree with the habeas court’s conclusion that Applicant has demonstrated intellectual disability, and we deny relief."