In an amicus brief organized by The Constitution Project, a group of prominent Texans has urged the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) to grant Bobby Moore relief from his death sentence because he is intellectually disabled. Moore’s case is back before the CCA after the Supreme Court held that Texas’s standards for determining mental illness were unconstitutional because they were not informed by the views of medical experts. The Court stated in its 5-3 opinion that, “not aligned with the medical community’s information, and drawing no strength from our precedent, the Briseno factors [the Texas standard being challenged] ‘creat[e] an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed.'” In so holding, the Court cited The Constitution Project’s amicus brief, which compared how other Texas administrative rules and laws define intellectual disability by reference to the medical community’s consensus, while the state determines eligibility for execution through an outdated, judicially-crafted set of criteria. TCP had previously filed an amicus brief in January urging the Supreme Court to hear the case.
In the new proceedings, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which is representing the State of Texas, has filed a brief agreeing that Moore is entitled to relief.