Thorson appeal back before Miss. court

Published 2:39 am Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments June 7 from death row inmate Roger Eric Thorson, who continues to pursue a post-conviction claim that he is mentally retarded and should not be executed.

Thorson has appealed a Harrison County judge’s ruling in 2010 that found Thorson mentally competent.

Thorson was sentenced to death for killing a former girlfriend on the Gulf Coast in 1987. The Mississippi court overturned the conviction because prosecutors excluded potential jurors based on their religious preferences.

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Thorson was tried again in 2002, convicted and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court upheld the second conviction in 2004.

In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence — or a possible constitutional issue — that could persuade a court to order a new trial.