Brazos County capital murder trials death penalty intellectual disabilities jury rejection Texas

Brazos County Jury Rejects Death Penalty for Stanley Robertson

This afternoon, after more than 21 hours of deliberation, a Brazos County jury determined that Stanley Wayne Robertson should spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2010 murder of Annie Mae Toliver.  The District Attorney’s office had sought the death penalty for Robertson, but the jury decided that there was mitigating evidence in his case that warranted a life sentence.  During the punishment phase of his trial, Robertson’s attorneys presented evidence of his impoverished childhood, as well as expert testimony as to his intellectual disabilities.

According to the Bryan-College Station Eagle (“Robertson case enters third day of sentencing deliberations,” February 27, 2013), jurors indicated on Tuesday afternoon that they were deadlocked on the question of whether Robertson is mentally disabled.   The jury was sequestered for two nights before reaching a final decision that results in a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Read more about the jury deliberations in The Eagle.

Over the last five years, death-qualified juries have rejected the death penalty in more than 20 capital murder trials.  There were four such jury rejections in 2012.  This is the first case this year in which a capital jury has rejected the death penalty; there have been no new death sentences imposed to date in 2012.