Bobby v. Bies

In Bobby v. Bies, 556 U.S. 825, 129 S. Ct. 2145, 173 L. Ed. 2d 1173 (2009), the United States Supreme Court addressed a similar issue. Michael Bies was tried and convicted in Ohio of the aggravated murder, kidnapping, and attempted rape of a ten-year-old boy nearly one decade prior to the Court's decision in Atkins v. Virginia. Bies' IQ fell in the 65 to 75 range, indicating that he is "mildly mentally retarded to borderline mentally retarded." Id. at 2149-50. On postconviction review, the trial court agreed that Bies was mildly mentally retarded, but concluded that he was still eligible for execution. Id. at 2150. After the Supreme Court issued Atkins, and the Ohio Supreme Court adopted it in State v. Lott, 97 Ohio St. 3d 303, 2002 Ohio 6625, 779 N.E.2d 1011(Ohio 2002), Bies presented his Atkins claim to the state's postconviction court. Id. Bies moved for summary judgment, arguing that the record established his mental retardation and that the State was precluded and estopped from disputing it. Id. The court denied summary judgment because Bies' mental retardation had not been established under the Atkins-Lott framework, and ordered a full hearing. Id. at 2151. Bies took his claim to the Federal District Court, arguing that the Fifth Amendment's Double Jeopardy Clause barred the State from relitigating the issue of his mental condition. The court agreed and ordered vacation of Bies' death sentence. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Id. The Supreme Court reversed, stating that "[t]he State did not 'twice put Bies in jeopardy.'" Id. Further, the court stated that no state-court determination of his mental retardation entitled him to a life sentence. Id. at 2152.