Arkansas Supreme Court: Bad Closing Not Enough For New Sentence

Feb 4, 2016

The Arkansas Supreme Court

Arkansas' high court says a death row inmate isn't entitled to a new sentencing hearing just because his lawyer may have delivered "one of the worst" closing arguments of his career.

The Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday reversed a Benton County judge's order for a new hearing and asked the lower court to reconsider the request with a more objective test to determine if Brandon Lacy's lawyer performed adequately.

Lacy was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of capital murder and aggravated robbery in the 2007 slaying of Randall Walker.

The Supreme Court's order also denied a separate appeal from Lacy. He said his lawyer failed because he did not argue Lacy had a mental defect because of alleged alcohol-fueled blackouts and memory lapses.