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Ladd v. Livingston

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

January 28, 2015

ROBERT CHARLES LADD, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
BRAD LIVINGSTON, Executive Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice; WILLIAM STEPHENS, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS DIVISION; JAMES JONES, Senior Warden, Huntsville Unit Huntsville, Texas; UNKNOWN EXECUTIONERS, Defendants - Appellees

Petition for certiorari filed at, 01/29/2015

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

For ROBERT CHARLES LADD, Plaintiff - Appellant: Maurie Levin, Philadelphia, PA; Patrick F. McCann, Law Offices of Patrick F. McCann, Houston, TX.

For BRAD LIVINGSTON, Executive Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, WILLIAM STEPHENS, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS DIVISION, JAMES JONES, Senior Warden, Huntsville Unit Huntsville, Texas, UNKNOWN EXECUTIONERS, Defendants - Appellees: Fredericka Searle Sargent, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Division, Austin, TX.

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DAVIS, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 287

PATRICK E. HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit Judge:

Robert Charles Ladd was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. He is scheduled to be executed bye the State of Texas on January 29, 2015. On January 27, 2015, after the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Glossip v. Gross, Ladd filed a section 1983 lawsuit alleging that the state's method of execution would violate his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court denied his motion for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. Compelled by our court's precedent, we AFFIRM.

I.

This case has a complex factual and procedural background, which we laid out in detail in our earlier opinion affirming the district court's denial of habeas relief.[1] We briefly summarize here.

On August 23, 1997, Ladd was convicted of capital murder for the rape and murder of Vicki Ann Garner. A Texas state jury imposed the death penalty four days later. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Ladd's sentence and conviction on direct appeal in October 1999.[2] After unsuccessfully seeking state habeas relief, he filed his first application for federal habeas relief on January 18, 2001, raising a claim that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney had not raised evidence of Ladd's intellectual disability during the punishment phase of the trial.[3] The district court denied habeas relief and we affirmed.[4]

In 2002, the Supreme Court, in Atkins v. Virginia, altered the capital punishment landscape by holding that individuals who are intellectually disabled are categorically ineligible for the death penalty.[5] Following this decision, Ladd filed a second petition for state habeas relief, which was denied without an evidentiary hearing or an opportunity for him to develop his Atkins claim.[6] We authorized the filing of a second habeas petition in the district court. After holding an evidentiary hearing, the district court denied Ladd's petition, concluding that he had failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he was intellectually disabled.[7] We affirmed.[8]

Page 288

The Supreme Court denied Ladd's petition for a writ of certiorari on ...


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