The Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday rejected the appeal of death row inmate Karl Roberts of Polk County who argued that he shouldn’t be executed because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Justices upheld a lower court’s ruling against Roberts, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1999 killing of his 12-year-old-niece Andi Brewer. Brewer’s body was found near Cove. Brewer’s mother, Republican State Representative Rebecca Petty, has served in the Arkansas House since 2015.
Arkansas doesn’t have any executions scheduled and its supply of lethal injection drugs expired last year. The state has said it is not actively searching for lethal injection drugs.
Roberts’ attorney had argued that the inmate’s schizophrenia hampered his defense during his 2000 trial in Polk County because he believed that his jailers were secretly recording him.
The court, however, said there’s no categorical prohibition on sentencing a person with schizophrenia to death. It also said his claim of incompetency wasn’t ready to be adjudicated since no execution date has been set.