RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Attorneys for the state are fighting to keep a man on Virginia’s death row after a federal court said his claims of mental deficiency were enough to warrant an appeal.
The Attorney General’s Office argued Tuesday before a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Leon Winston waited too late to present evidence that he met Virginia’s threshold for mental retardation, which would make him ineligible for execution.
Justices said a U.S. Supreme Court opinion issued after Winston’s case was ordered reviewed has made it more difficult to introduce evidence not presented earlier in such proceedings.
Winston was convicted of the 2002 slayings of Anthony and Rhonda Robinson in Lynchburg. Rhonda Robinson was pregnant at the time, and her 4- and 8-year-old daughters watched her die.
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