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United States of America: The death penalty in California: the case of Robert Harris

, Índice: AMR 51/034/1992

The first execution to be carried out in California in 25 years, that of Robert Alton Harris, is due to take place in the near future (i.e. at time of writing). Mr Harris has exhausted all available possibilities of appeal. The execution is likely to take place despite the fact that one half of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges voting on the case in December 1991 reportedly thought that he should have been granted a full court review to determine whether he was deprived of effective psychiatric assistance at his original trial. He is convicted of the kidnap, robbery and murder of two teenage boys in July 1978. New evidence not available at the original trial, relating to possible brain damage and childhood abuse, indicates strong grounds for clemency.

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