Supreme Court rules out death penalty for man who killed Houston store clerk

Bobby James Moore
Bobby James Moore

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is ending a long legal fight by ruling that a Texas death row inmate is intellectually disabled and thus may not be executed.

The justices ruled 6-3 on Tuesday in the case of inmate Bobby James Moore.

Moore had been sentenced to death for the 1980 shotgun slaying of a Houston grocery store clerk.

His lawyers argued for years that Moore was intellectually disabled, but Texas' top criminal appeals court rejected those claims, even after the Supreme Court strongly suggested in 2017 that Moore could not be executed because of his intellectual limitations.

In a twist, the Houston district attorney agreed with Moore that he should be spared the death penalty. Houston prosecutors originally persuaded a jury to sentence Moore to death.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg sent the following statement to KPRC2:

"The death penalty is the most serious punishment available under Texas law. The U.S. Supreme Court, which has the ultimate say, has decided that those who are intellectually disabled cannot be executed. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office disagreed with our state’s highest court and the attorney general to stand for Justice in this case. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed. Bobby Moore is intellectually disabled."