CA10: District court should hold evidentiary hearing to determine whether trial counsel should have offered evidence of the defendant’s intellectual disability in death penalty case

Last week, the Tenth Circuit issued a 95-page opinion in Harris v. Sharp, a death penalty case from Oklahoma. The defendant went to his estranged wife’s workplace and fired gunshots, killing her boss, Merle Taylor. Diana Baldwin had this story in The Oklahoman about this case in 2001.

Judge Bacharach’s opinion for the Tenth Circuit held that the district court should conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Harris’s defense counsel was ineffective for not offering evidence that he was intellectually disabled, which would have prevented him from getting the death penalty.

You can listen to the oral argument here.

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