Sentence of One of Alabama's Longest Serving Death Row Inmates Reduced After 30 Years

On December 6, Bobby Tarver, who had spent 30 years on Alabama's death row, finally had his death sentence reduced to life without parole by a state judge because of his intellectual disability. Tarver was Mobile County's longest-serving death row inmate, having been convicted in 1982 of murdering a taxi cab driver. Last September, a federal judge overruled state court opinions and held that Tarver could not be executed because of his mental retardation, thus concluding a years-long legal battle about Tarver’s mental capacity. The final ruling came ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) that it was unconstitutional to execute defendants with mental retardation.

(B. Kirby, "Judge changes sentence of Mobile County's longest-serving death row inmate to life," Birmingham News, December 6, 2012.  See Intellectual Disability and Time on Death Row.