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Justin C. Anderson - Arkansas Death Row
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Thread: Justin C. Anderson - Arkansas Death Row

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    Justin C. Anderson - Arkansas Death Row




    Facts of the Crime:

    On October 12, 2000, Anderson approached 87-year-old Clara Creech while she was gardening in her yard. Anderson shot Creech in the head and then burglarized Creech’s home. During police questioning, Anderson admitted killing Creech, told police there was no particular reason why he chose to kill Creech, and then led police to the gun he used to kill Creech. Anderson was also found guilty of attempted capital murder for shooting Roger Solvey during a robbery that occurred less than a week before killing Creech.

    Anderson’s first death sentence for killing Creech was overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court because the jury did not consider mitigating circumstances. The Arkansas verdict form requires the jury to check one of four options regarding mitigating circumstances. The jury selected the option that no mitigating evidence was presented. However, Anderson had presented evidence that his mother was mentally retarded, he was put into the foster care system, and he was abused. Another option the jury could have selected was that the evidence presented was not convincing.

    Anderson was sentenced to death on January 31, 2002.

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    June 23, 2008

    Arkansas death-row inmate seeks new trial

    An Arkansas inmate sentenced to die for the 2000 killing of an 85-year-old Lewisville woman is seeking a new trial.

    Justin Anderson was originally convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection in a Lafayette County trial for the 2000 slaying of Clara Creech.

    Anderson appealed his conviction and sentence to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which in 2004 reversed his death sentence and sent the case back to Miller County, where the case was heard because of pretrial publicity. The lower court then reimposed the death sentence.

    In a hearing Friday before Circuit Court Judge Jim Hudson, Anderson's attorney argued that Anderson needs a trial because his trial defense attorney might have been using methamphetamine.

    Anderson also alleges that his confession was coerced.

    Anderson's attorneys also questioned whether their client is eligible for the death penalty, noting that Anderson's IQ has been tested at 65 - a score that can be considered mentally retarded.

    But prosecutor Brent Haltom argued that Anderson was found competent at trial.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

  3. #3
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    Case Tracker

    General Information:

    DOB: 03/21/1981
    Race: Black
    Gender: Male

    Crime and Trial

    * County of conviction: Lafayette
    * Number of counts: One
    * Race of Victim: White
    * Gender of Victim: Female
    * Date of crime: 10/12/2000
    * Date of Sentencing: 01/31/2002

    Legal Status

    Current Proceedings:
    Appealing circuit court's denial of postconviction relief

    Current Counsel

    Jeffrey Scott Harrelson

    Reported Opinions

    Anderson v. State, 163 S.W.3d 333 (Ark. 2004) (reversing the death sentence and remanding for new sentencing); Anderson v. State, 242 S.W.3d 229 (Ark. 2006), cert. denied, 551 U.S. 1133 (2007); Anderson v. State, 2010 WL 987046 (Ark. March 18, 2010) (ordering rebriefing before deciding on circuit court's denial of post‐conviction relief).

    Significant Legal Issues

    On direct appeal:
    (1) whether defendant's statements to police were voluntary;
    (2) whether “other crimes” evidence was admissible during guilt phase of trial;
    (3) whether circuit court abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion for change of venue;
    (4) whether trial court properly excused prospective juror for cause;
    (5) whether State's explanations for exercising peremptory challenges against African‐American prospective jurors were race‐neutral;
    (7) whether evidence supported determination that defendant was not “mentally retarded” and thus eligible for the death penalty; but
    (8) whether jury's decision to check section of form during sentencing phase, indicating that no evidence of mitigation was offered, was reversible error.
    On petition for post‐convicton relief:
    (1) whether jury was prohibited from receiving and considering, during deliberations, audiotape of defendant's statement during police questioning;
    (2) whether any replaying of audiotape by jury was a critical stage of criminal proceedings.

  4. #4
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Man denied new trial in murder of lawmaker's mother-in-law

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A man who is on death row for the murder of a former state legislator's mother-in-law in Lewisville, Ark., has lost his bid for a new trial.

    The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday found that Justin Anderson, 30, failed to show he had ineffective counsel at his trial for the 2000 slaying of 85-year-old Carla Creech.

    Creech was killed in front of her Lewisville home during a botched robbery.

    She was the mother-in-law of then-state Rep. Russ Bennett of Lewisville.

    Anderson's lawyers also argued he was mentally retarded, but the justices found no evidence his mental capacity was diminished to the point that he shouldn't be executed.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has banned the execution of the mentally handicapped.

    Earlier, the supreme court ordered a new sentencing because the first jury didn't fully consider mitigating circumstances. A second sentencing was held and Anderson was again sentenced to die.

    http://www.ktbs.com/news/29797779/detail.html

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On July 24, 2012, Anderson filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/ark...cv00279/90492/

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On March 28, 2017, Anderson's habeas petition was DENIED in Federal District Court.

    https://docs.justia.com/cases/federa...0279/90492/113

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On June 12, 2019, oral argument will be heard in Anderson's appeal before the Eighth Circuit. The panel will be made up of Judges Gruender (G.W. Bush), Stras (Trump) and Kobes (Trump).

    https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/webcal/jun19stl.pdf

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    In today's opinions, the Eight Circuit DENIED Anderson's appeal. Judge Kobes dissented.

    https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/19/09/172456P.pdf

  9. #9
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    On October 25, 2019, the Eighth Circuit DENIED Anderson's petition for en banc rehearing.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/19-8105.html

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