Convicted killer Antonio Richardson has escaped death, at least for the time being, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court which has granted him a stay of execution. Richardson, who was sentenced to die for the April, 1991, rape and murder of two sisters who were forced to jump off a St. Louis County Bridge into the Mississippi River, is borderline retarded. The State Supreme Court had rejected that as a reason to stop the execution. But Richardson’s attorneys took their challenge to the top court in the land. The High Court agreed to stay the execution to consider the constitutionality of Richardson’s conviction and sentencing. Richardson’s main lawyer says the stay is linked to his client’s mental condition. Gino Battisti says the U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to determine whether putting a mentally retarded person to death violates the 8th Amendment, dealing with cruel and unusual punishment.
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