Neal’s resentencing upheld
Published 3:41 pm Thursday, November 12, 2009
The state Court of Appeals has upheld the life without parole sentence handed former death row Howard Monteville Neal by a Lamar County judge in 2008.
Neal was convicted of shooting his brother, Bobby Neal, and raping and killing a 13-year-old girl and the girl’s 14-year-old friend in 1981. The 13-year-old was Howard Neal’s niece.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded defendants.
In 2007, Neal underwent several tests that determined he was mentally retarded. The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered him re-sentenced to life without parole.
The Appeals Court on Tuesday denied Neal’s claim that a life without parole sentence was not an option when he was first convicted.