Court Rules Against Death Row Inmate's Disability Claim

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision that death row inmate David Keen may not reopen his post-conviction proceeding 19 years after his original death sentence to assert he is intellectually disabled. In an opinion authored by Justice William C. Koch, the court ruled that the statute permitting inmates to reopen their post-conviction proceedings did not apply to Keen’s claims since the statute allows reopening a proceeding when there is scientific evidence that an inmate is “actually innocent of the offense,” and Keen was not claiming that he did not commit the crime for which he was convicted.