The ARC Arkansas, an advocacy group for the mentally retarded, has issued a letter to Governor Beebe asking him to grant clemency to Frank Williams, a death-row inmate scheduled to be executed on September 9th. The letter comes in advance of an August 4 hearing before the state parole board, during which lawyers will argue that Williams should not be executed because previous courts failed to take his mental retardation into account.
Williams’s application for clemency states that he has two medical reports confirming his mental retardation. In 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Atkins v. Virginia, that executions of the mentally retarded are unconstitutional.
The execution, were it to go forward, would be the first under the Beebe administration.