By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – Convicted murderer Mack Arthur King will come off death row, a federal judge ordered Tuesday.
King had appealed his 2008 death sentence for a Lowndes County murder on numerous grounds, including that he is mentally retarded.
Last week, the state of Mississippi agreed with a psychological evaluation stating King is mentally retarded. The U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal to execute mentally retarded prisoners. Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock accepted the state’s opinion and ordered King’s death sentence vacated.
The state must impose a sentence of less than death, she said. All other appeal claims by King were denied and dismissed, Aycock ruled.
King was convicted of the 1980 murder of 84-year-old Lela Patterson, who was found dead in her bathtub.
His conviction was twice vacated by appeals court, then he was sentenced to death during a March 2003 resentencing trial.
Aycock’s court report said she will call for a hearing within 60 days of the final judgment, the death sentence is vacated and the state imposes a new sentence.