In January 1991 Robert Campbell abducted Alexandria Rendon in Houston. Rendon, a Bank One employee was kidnapped from a Chevron station and driven to a desolate area. Campbell and a co-defendant Leroy Lewis robbed her of her money and jewelry and then raped her. Rendon was then marched at gunpoint to a field and then told by Campbell to run. Campbell shot once at the woman’s head, but missed. He then shot her in the back and left her to die. Both then fled the scene in her car. Lewis later gave police a taped confession. Rendon’s body was found 12 days after her death.
Campbell had been to prison for a robbery in Harris County. He was given 5-years and entered TDCJ on April 30, 1990. He was released on parole less than 4 months later on August 22, 1990. Four months later Rendon was dead.
His co-defendant, Leroy Lewis, was sent to TDCJ on August 26, 1993, after receiving 35-years for kidnapping with a deadly weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon and murder with a deadly weapon. He has since been paroled and lives in northwest Houston. He also must register as a sex offender for life.
Hours before Texas could carry out the nation’s first execution since Oklahoma officials botched a lethal injection last month, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a dramatic unanimous ruling Tuesday that halted Robert Campbell’s execution and granted him a new appeal.
The court cited new defense evidence that Campbell is intellectually disabled, with an IQ of 69 — below the minimum threshold set by most courts that would make it unconstitutional for him to be executed.
His attorneys had appealed to the courts and to Gov. Rick Perry for a stay of execution on two main grounds: that Campbell suffers from intellectual disability and that he is entitled to know the details of the state’s execution procedures, which have not been fully disclosed.
The attorneys argued that Texas should especially be compelled to disclose the details of its lethal injection procedure in light not only of Oklahoma’s botched execution, but problems with other lethal injections. They noted that when Jose Villegas, 39, was executed last month in Texas for murdering his girlfriend, he complained of burning, as did an Oklahoma inmate executed in January.
Unlike Oklahoma’s current method, which uses three separate drugs, Texas uses only one.
“Campbell and his attorneys have not had a fair opportunity to develop Campbell’s claim of ineligibility for the death penalty,” the court wrote. “In light of the evidence we have been shown, we believe that Campbell must be given such an opportunity.”
Campbell’s execution would have been the eighth this year in Texas, which puts more inmates to death than any other state — 515 since lethal injections began in 1982. In fact, Texas has executed more inmates than the next half-dozen busiest death penalty states combined (Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri, Alabama and Georgia).