Brady: Brumfield mentally retarded, cannot be executed in Smothers slaying

kajuns komments – Brady: Brumfield mentally retarded, cannot be executed in Smothers slaying.

So Judge Brady got this one WRONG.

Kevan Brumfield and a ‘friend’, make a plan to rob a manager of a grocery store, while making a night-deposit. They went to the bank, waited for the manager to arrive and then shoot Cpl. Betty Smothers and the manager, take the deposit and run. Can anyone with common sense say these men, either one of them, was/is mentally retarded? They planned a robbery and executed it along with the ‘execution’ of a Baton Rouge City Police officer and seriously wounding the manager. I suppose one could say they were retarded to think of such a thing, but to plan it and carry it out??? NO WAY can they be mentally retarded.

One Doctor says Brumfield is not mentally retarded and another says he is mildly retarded. Aren’t we all, in some instances ‘mildly retarded’? So where does Judge Brady get off saying Brumfield can’t be excuted because he is retarded? Neither Doctor said he was, only the one Doc that said mildly but that isn’t totally retarded.

Was Brumfield being treated for retardation? Was he on medication? If he was it wasn’t said he was.
The way Brady handled this case should get him a severe reprimand if not removed from the bench.

Here’s a reprint from The Advocate, the local Baton Rouge newspaper.

Advocate staff writer
February 23, 2012

Kevan Brumfield, who was convicted in 1995 and sentenced to death in the 1993 ambush slaying of Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Betty Smothers, is mentally retarded and cannot be executed, a federal judge said in a ruling that prosecutors pledged Thursday to appeal.

East Baton Rouge Parish First Assistant District Attorney Prem Burns said the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will be asked to review and reverse U.S. District Judge James Brady’s ruling, which was signed Wednesday.

“This man is not retarded,’’ Burns said of Brumfield.

Brumfield’s attorney, Nicholas Trenticosta, said he was very pleased with Brady’s decision but not surprised by it.

“There is no question Mr. Brumfield is mentally retarded,’’ he said.

Burns said Brady committed “legal error’’ by not allowing the District Attorney’s Office to introduce Brumfield’s trial record at the August 2010 federal hearing on his mental retardation claim.

“We feel we were not allowed to fully present our case,’’ she said.

Smothers, 36, was working an off-duty security job when she was fatally shot shortly after midnight on Jan. 7, 1993, while driving a grocery store manager to a Jefferson Highway bank to make a night deposit. The manager, Kimen Lee, survived the attack despite being shot numerous times.

Smothers was the mother of six children, including former NFL running back Warrick Dunn, who starred at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge and Florida State University.

“My pain is to have to tell the family’’ about Brady’s ruling, Burns said.

Baton Rouge forensic psychiatrist Robert Blanche testified at the federal hearing that Brumfield is not mentally retarded, but Lafayette psychologist Victoria Swanson told Brady that Brumfield is mildly retarded.

“The Court concludes, under the totality of the circumstances and based on a preponderance of the evidence, Kevan Brumfield has demonstrated he is mentally retarded as defined by Louisiana law,’’ Brady wrote in his ruling.

He said the state is “permanently enjoined’’ from executing Brumfield. The U.S. Supreme Court has barred the execution of mentally retarded people.

“While ineligible for execution, Brumfield will remain incarcerated in Angola for the rest of his life,’’ Brady added. “This ruling does not ‘let him off easy’ on some convoluted procedural technicality. It merely seeks to fairly apply the law as written.’’

The judge found that Brumfield has “significant limitations in intellectual functioning’’ and “significantly limited conceptual skills.’’

“If we as a society are to effectuate the evolving standard of decency contemplated by the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, we must accept as a given that certain cases will present unfortunate facts which, when viewed under the law, result in an outcome at odds with majoritarian sentiment,’’ Brady wrote. “This may be one of those cases in the eyes of some.’’

Henri Broadway, of Baton Rouge, also is sitting on death row for his role in the Smothers killing. He is seeking a new trial.

Brumfield was accused of firing the bullets that killed Smothers. Broadway, who was tried after Brumfield in 1995, was accused of firing some of the shots that wounded Lee.

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