EXTRA 11/93 - USA (Louisiana): death penalty: Robert Sawyer
Robert Sawyer, white, aged 42, is scheduled to be executed by the State of Louisiana on 5 March 1993. He was sentenced to death in 1980 for his role in the death of a white woman. He has a history of mental retardation and brain damage and reportedly grew up in a disturbed family. None of this evidence was presented to the jury at the sentencing phase of his trial because his trial lawyer apparently had not investigated his background. He had been found competent to stand trial by psychiatrists from a court- appointed commission who had apparently spent less than 30 minutes examining him. Only when new lawyers took up his case did the evidence of his mental impairment come to light.