Matthew Reeves, 18 years old at the time of the crime and now 43, is facing execution in Alabama on January 27, 2022. His death sentence has been upheld despite compelling claims that he has an intellectual disability and that his trial lawyers failed him when they did not retain an expert to present such evidence. Even without the presentation of this key mitigation evidence at trial, only 10 of 12 jurors voted for death. Amnesty International calls on Governor Ivey to commute the death sentence.
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Governor Kay Ivey
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130, USA
Fax: +1 334 353 0004
Email via: https://contact.governor.alabama.gov/contact.aspx
Dear Governor Ivey,
is facing execution on January 27, 2022. He was convicted in 1998 of a murder committed in Selma, Alabama, in 1996. Eighteen years old at the time of the crime, he has been on death row for more than half of his life.
According to the evidence presented since the trial, at most, Matthew Reeves functions in the borderline range of intellectual ability. In post-conviction proceedings, the state’s expert found his IQ to be 68, which is below the threshold for intellectual disability. According to a neuropsychologist who should have testified at trial, Matthew Reeves has intellectual disability.
The trial lawyers pressed for funding so they could appoint the above neuropsychologist to assess Matthew Reeves’ intellectual functioning, but after their request was granted, they failed to contact the expert they had said was crucial for their mitigation case, and they went to trial having not hired any mental health expert at all. The entire sentencing phase lasted a mere 90 minutes. The jury and judge were deprived of key mitigation evidence. Three federal judges on the 11th
Circuit Court of Appeals and four Supreme Court Justices have said Matthew Reeves’ legal representation at trial was inadequate. It also failed to meet international standards for a fair trial.
I urge you to grant clemency to Matthew Reeves and commute his death sentence.