Arkansas Death Row Inmate Cites Mental Illness In Appeal

Jan 10, 2020

An attorney for Karl Roberts, convicted of killing the daughter of an Arkansas state legislator, argues the inmate should not be put to death because of a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Credit Arkansas Department of Correction

An Arkansas death row inmate convicted of killing a state lawmaker's daughter is arguing he should not be executed because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments over Karl Roberts' appeal of his conviction and death sentence in the 1999 killing of 12-year-old niece,

Andi Brewer. An attorney for Roberts told the Arkansas justices that the inmate's schizophrenia made him unable to effectively assist defense attorneys during his 2000 trial because he believed that jailers were secretly recording him.

The state noted that experts during Roberts' 2000 trial did not diagnose him with schizophrenia.