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Byron Lewis Black - Tennessee Death Row
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Thread: Byron Lewis Black - Tennessee Death Row

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    Byron Lewis Black - Tennessee Death Row




    Summary of Offense:

    Byron Lewis Black was convicted in 1989 of three counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of his girlfriend, Angela Clay, and her two daughters, Latoya and Lakeisha Clay. A jury sentenced Black to death for the murder of Lakeisha Clay and to two life sentences for the murders of Angela and Latoya Clay.

  2. #2
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    On May 28, 2008, Black filed an appeal in the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals over the denial of his habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...s/ca6/08-5644/

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    Byron Black v. Ricky Bell

    In today's Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, the court AFFIRMED the district court’s denial of Black’s habeas petition regarding his non-Atkins claims, VACATED the court’s judgment regarding the denial of Black’s petition concerning his Atkins claim, and REMANDED the case for further proceedings.

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    Death row inmate wins appeal

    A death row inmate’s life may be spared after a federal appeals court ruled that his claims of mental disability were not properly considered by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

    Byron Black, 55, was sentenced to death in 1989 in Nashville after he was found guilty of killing his girlfriend, Angela Clay, and her two minor daughters, Latoya, 9, and Lakeisha, 6.

    Black has lost several appeals on various claims in the years since. But today the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that the state Court of Criminal Appeals did not properly evaluate whether Black has a mental disability. In 2001 and 2002, respectively, the Tennessee and U.S. supreme courts ruled that the execution of mentally disabled people violates state and federal constitutional bans on cruel and unusual punishment.

    In 2006, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that Black was not mentally disabled. The court chose not to consider factors that could affect the accuracy of IQ tests, such as the “standard error of measurement” or the Flynn Effect, which “calls for adjusting downward the score that a subject receives on an older I.Q. test based on the idea that the general population’s level of knowledge increases over time.”

    The Tennessee Supreme Court, in an opinion this year, has subsequently ruled that such factors should be considered in assessing a defendant’s mental ability. Writing for the majority, 6th Circuit Judge Ronald Lee Gilman ruled in today’s opinion that the state Supreme Court’s decision should be applied retroactively to cases such as Black’s. Circuit Judge Danny J. Boggs dissented, and wrote that Black should seek relief in the state, rather than federal, courts.

    The case has been remanded to U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell in Nashville. Black will ask Campbell to set aside his death sentence because he is mentally disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors dispute that claim. To bolster, they have presented experts who suspect Black purposefully malingered on IQ tests in order to artificially deflate his scores.

    “We are reviewing the opinion and assessing our options,” said Sharon Curtis-Flair, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.

    Black’s attorney, Kelley Henry, of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Nashville, declined to comment.

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...te-wins-appeal

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    Attorneys argue inmate should not face death penalty because he is mentally disabled

    Attorneys for a Tennessee death row inmate are asking a federal judge to spare him from facing the death penalty because he is mentally disabled.

    Byron Lewis Black was convicted in 1989 of killing his girlfriend, Angela Clay, and her two young daughters, Latoya and Lakeisha, in Nashville. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case back to district court after deciding his claims were not adequately considered by a state appeals court.

    Oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors argue that Black's scores on IQ tests taken before he turned 18 were not less than 70, which is a factor in determining mental disability. His attorneys say they are unable to communicate with Black because of his intellectual disability and argue that clinical evaluation should also be considered.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...-Penalty-Black
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    On January 22, 2013, Black's Atkins (mental retardation) claim was denied on remand in Federal District Court.

    http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal...0764/6438/161/

    On February 21, 2013, Black filed an appeal before the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...s/ca6/13-5224/

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    Case files: New appeals for Tennessee death row inmates

    By Stacey Barchenger
    The Tennessean

    Lawyers have filed motions in Tennessee courts on behalf of condemned inmates that present a new, and perhaps unexpected, course of attack on the death penalty: Citing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The motions seek to re-open the condemned inmates' cases.

    They argue that the Supreme Court justices in the 2015 same-sex marriage case, known as Obergefell, ruled that courts cannot infringe on fundamental rights, including the right to life. The inmates say that to impose a death sentence infringes on that right.

    Many of those motions have been denied by judges, though a few are still pending.

    Here are some of those cases:

    Byron Black, Davidson County, motion denied: Black shot to death his girlfriend and her two daughters at their Nashville home in 1988.

    http://www.tennessean.com/story/news...ates/91294878/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    On December 8, 2016, oral argument will be heard in Black's appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The panel will be made up of Judges Cole (Clinton), Boggs (Reagan) and Griffin (G.W. Bush).

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/sites/ca...120516_arg.pdf

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    On August 10, 2017, the Sixth Circuit DENIED Black's appeal.

    https://law.justia.com/cases/federal...017-08-10.html

    On October 27, 2017, the Sixth Circuit DENIED Black's petition for en banc rehearing.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketP...8011015430.pdf

  10. #10
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    On June 4, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Black's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    Case Numbers: (13-5224)
    Decision Date: August 10, 2017
    Rehearing Denied: October 27, 2017

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/17-8275.html

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