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Lethal Injection

Cop-Killer Robert Holsey, Who Had Alcoholic Lawyer, Faces Execution

A convicted cop-killer — whose lawyer admitted to guzzling a quart of vodka a day during his trial — was denied clemency on Monday, a day before his scheduled execution in Georgia. The state parole board did not explain why it rejected the request by Robert Wayne Holsey, who is on death-row for gunning down sheriff's deputy Will Robinson after a 1995 convenience store stickup.

Holsey's current legal team argues that his trial attorney botched the case because he was having a personal crisis, in the grip of alcoholism and facing prosecution for stealing from a client. In 2006, the original lawyer — who has been disbarred — testified that his life was such a mess he "shouldn't have been representing anybody in any case" at the time.

Holsey's lawyers also contend that the jury that sentenced him to death never heard about his intellectual disability or his horrific childhood, which could have been mitigating factors. Georgia has a very strict standard for proving intellectual disability, but the U.S. Supreme Court in May struck down a Florida law that set a hard cut-off. Holsey's appeal lawyer, Brian Kammer, said he will appeal the case all the way to the high court if needed.

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— Tracy Connor