Atlanta, December 9, 2014 – In a 5-to-2 ruling, the Supreme Court of Georgia has denied a stay
of execution for Robert Wayne Holsey, who is scheduled to be put to death tonight by lethal
injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA.
Holsey, 49, was convicted in 1997 of shooting and killing Baldwin County Deputy Sheriff Will
Robinson in December 1995, shortly after Holsey held up a convenience store in Milledgeville.
In addition to denying Holsey’s motion for stay of execution, the Court has denied his request to
appeal last week’s Butts County court order dismissing his constitutional challenge of Georgia’s
requirement that he must prove his alleged intellectual disability “beyond a reasonable doubt” to
avoid the death penalty. Holsey’s attorneys argued that “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a higher
standard of proof than is used by other states, most of which use the less stringent
“preponderance of the evidence,” and that it is unconstitutional based on the United States
Supreme Court’s May 2014 decision in Hall v. Florida. Holsey’s attorneys also argued the Butts
County court should reexamine the question of whether Holsey is himself intellectually disabled.
(The term “intellectual disability” has replaced “mental retardation” in most legal documents.)
Chief Judge Thomas H. Wilson last week dismissed Holsey’s claims and denied his request for a
stay of execution. Today’s decision by the state Supreme Court lets stand that decision by the
Butts County court.
All the Justices concurred in today’s ruling except Justices Robert Benham and Carol Hunstein,