Court halts Texas execution over mental health claims

This handout photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Robert Campbell. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking to delay his execution following a bungled execution in Oklahoma. Campbell's execution is scheduled for May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court has halted the scheduled execution of a convicted killer in Texas so his attorneys can pursue appeals arguing he is mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty.

Robert James Campbell had been set to die Tuesday evening. He would have been the first U.S. inmate executed since a botched execution in Oklahoma two weeks ago.

His appeals challenged the state’s plan to use a drug for which it will not reveal the source, as was the case with drugs used in Oklahoma, and claims of mental impairment.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted his punishment about 2 ½ hours before he could have been taken to the Texas death chamber, saying Campbell and his lawyers haven’t had a fair opportunity to develop the mental impairment claims.


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