Neville and Michael Wayne Hall worked at the same grocery store
where 19 year old Amy Robinson was employed as a sacker.
suffered from Turner's syndrome, which inhibits physical
development, and a diminished mental capacity.
One morning on the
way to work together, they saw Robinson riding her bicycle and
offered her a ride. Instead, they took her to a rural field in Fort
Worth where she was shot repeatedly with a pellet gun, then killed
with shots from a .22-caliber rifle as she begged for her life.
During the investigation of her disappearance, Hall’s stepbrother
told police that Hall had told him that he and Neville had abducted
and killed Robinson.
The two were arrested attempting to cross over
into Mexico. Upon arrest, Neville acknowledged killing Robinson and
told police where to find Robinson’s body.
Neville told police that
he and Hall were white supremacists and that they wanted to kill
blacks. Neville and Hall purchased two .22-caliber rifles and
ammunition and practiced shooting the rifles.
Neville boasted about
the slaying and told investigators, as well as TV and newspaper
reporters, that he laughed as Robinson lay on the ground, gasping
Neville explained in a TV interview that he and Hall killed
the woman "for the adrenaline rush" and that Robinson was used for
Both Hall and Neville were convicted of Murder
and sentenced to death. Neville was released from prison eight
months prior to the murder after serving two years of a 10-year
prison term for burglary.
Neville v. Dretke, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 2049335
(N.D. Tex. 2004) (Habeas)
Neville v. Dretke, 423 F.3d 474 (5th Cir. 2005) (Habeas)
Neville apologized profusely, addressed his victim's mother by name
as she and her two daughters stood close to the glass with their
arms around each other. He expressed love to them. "I hope you can
find it in yourselves to forgive me and I hope all this here will
kind of settle your pain. And I hope the Lord will give you comfort
and peace. I just want you to know I am very sorry for what I have
done. If I see Amy on the other side, I will tell her how much you
love and miss her. And we will have a lot to talk about." Neville
then turned toward his parents, who watched through an adjacent
window. "I am sorry for putting you through all this pain and
stuff," he said. "I love you all and I will see you on the other
Texas Department of Criminal
Inmate: Neville, Robert James Jr.
Date of Birth: 10/05/1974
Date Received: 01/05/1999
Education: 11 years
Date of Offense: 02/15/98
County of Conviction: Tarrant County
Hair Color: Red
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 6 ft 00 in
Texas Attorney General
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Robert James Neville
Scheduled For Execution
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following
information about Robert James Neville, who is scheduled to be
executed after 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006. On December 9, 1998,
Robert James Neville was sentenced to die for the kidnaping and
murder of Amy Robinson. A summary of the evidence presented at trial
FACTS OF THE CRIME
On Feb. 15, 1998, Robert Neville and a friend, Michael Wayne
Hall, saw 19-year-old Amy Robinson riding her bicycle to a grocery
store in Arlington where she worked.
The two men offered Robinson a
ride but took her to a rural field in Fort Worth, where they shot
her to death. Neville worked at the same grocery store where
Robinson was employed as a sacker.
Two hours after her work day was to have begun, a store employee
called Robinson’s family to say that the young woman had not arrived
at work. Her family called the Arlington police.
Later that day,
police contacted Hall and Neville. Neville told police that he had
both worked with Robinson and met with her socially. He told police
that he had not seen her in a couple of months.
subsequent investigation, however, Hall’s stepbrother told police
that Hall had told him that he and Neville had abducted and killed
Robinson. A warrant was issued for the arrest of both Neville and
Hall. On March 3, the two men were arrested at Eagle Pass, as they
tried to cross into Mexico.
In statements given to law enforcement, Neville acknowledged
killing Robinson and told police where to find Robinson’s body. He
said that one day when he and Hall had gotten drunk at the home of
Neville’s grandmother, Neville told Hall that he would “just like to
[go] out and kill somebody....”
Hall suggested that they purchase
guns. Neville told police that he and Hall were white supremacists
with the Aryan Brotherhood and that they wanted to kill blacks.
Neville and Hall purchased two .22-caliber rifles and ammunition and
practiced shooting the rifles. Both Neville and Hall were sentenced
to death for kidnaping and murdering Amy Robinson.
Mar. 24, 1998 – A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Neville for
Dec. 4, 1998 – A jury found Neville guilty of capital murder.
Dec. 9, 1998 – After a separate punishment hearing, the trial court
assessed a sentence of death.
Dec. 1, 1999 – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed
Neville’s conviction and sentence.
Aug. 7, 2000 – Neville filed a state application for writ of habeas
corpus in the trial court.
Mar. 28, 2001 – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied habeas
July 19, 2001 – Neville filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus
in a Fort Worth federal district court.
Sept. 14, 2004 – The federal district court denied habeas relief.
Sept. 24, 2004 – Neville filed a notice of appeal with the 5th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals.
Aug. 29, 2005 – The 5th Circuit Court denied Neville’s application
for a Certificate of Appealability, effectively rejecting his
Jan. 10, 2006 – Neville filed with the U.S. Supreme Court a motion
seeking permission to file an out-of-time petition for writ of
Jan. 23, 2006 – The Supreme Court denied Neville’s motion.
EVIDENCE RELATED TO PUNISHMENT
During the punishment phase of Neville’s trial, evidence was
introduced that Neville had previously been convicted of burglary of
a vehicle and burglary of a habitation. When he was about sixteen or
seventeen, Neville had sexual contact with an eleven-year-old girl,
a nine- or ten-year-old boy, and a seven-year-old boy. When he was
fourteen, Neville tossed kittens from a rooftop, and when he was
about sixteen or seventeen, he tied a cat by its tail to a tree and
struck the cat with a pole. When he worked at Kroger’s, Neville had
ridiculed a mentally challenged coworker and had avoided sacking
groceries for minority shoppers. An expert for the State, Dr.
Randall Price, testified that Neville was not mentally ill but had a
severe psychopathic personality. Dr. Price testified that Neville
expressed enjoyment and excitement during Robinson’s murder.
Convicted torture killer of 19-year-old girl executed
Associated Press - Feb. 8, 2006
HUNTSVILLE — A paroled burglar who claimed he wanted to be a
serial killer of minorities was executed tonight for the
torture-slaying eight years ago of a 19-year-old mentally impaired
woman who once worked with him.
Robert Neville Jr., apologizing profusely, addressed his victim's
mother by name as she and her two daughters stood close to the glass
with their arms around each other. He expressed love to them. "I
hope you can find it in yourselves to forgive me and I hope all this
here will kind of settle your pain. And I hope the Lord will give
you comfort and peace. I just want you to know I am very sorry for
what I have done," he said. Referring to his victim, Amy Robinson,
19, Neville, said, "If I see Amy on the other side, I will tell her
how much you love and miss her. And we will have a lot to talk
Neville then turned toward his parents, who watched through an
adjacent window. "I am sorry for putting you through all this pain
and stuff," he said. "I love you all and I will see you on the other
side." Seven minutes later at 6:19 p.m. CST, he was pronounced dead.
Neville, 31, was the third prisoner executed this year and the first
of three over the next 15 days in the nation's most active capital
Neville and a companion, Michael Wayne Hall, were condemned for
the fatal shooting of Robinson, who was abducted as she rode her
bike to work at a Dallas-area supermarket. She was taken to a remote
area of Tarrant County where she was shot repeatedly with a pellet
gun, then killed with shots from a .22-caliber rifle as she begged
for her life. Hall, 26, remains on death row. He does not have an
execution date. "I think they just thought of her as you would think
of a cat or dog or something," said Alan Levy, the Tarrant County
assistant district attorney who prosecuted the pair.
At the time of the Feb. 15, 1998, slaying, Neville had been on
parole about eight months after serving two years of a 10-year
prison term for burglary. About an hour before his scheduled
execution time, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeals.
His lawyers had hoped to block the execution with appeals in the
federal courts that questioned whether the lethal drugs used in the
punishment were humane and that Neville suffered a mental illness
brought on by lupus that should disqualify him from the death
The Supreme Court has ruled mentally retarded people are
ineligible for capital punishment but has not extended the blanket
prohibition to the mentally ill.
Neville and Hall were arrested about two weeks after Robinson was
reported missing. They were stopped at a customs checkpoint near
Eagle Pass as they were trying to cross into Mexico. They told
authorities they could find Robinson's body in a grassy field in the
Trinity River bottoms just north of Arlington.
from a genetic disorder, Turner's syndrome, a rare chromosome
disorder found only in women and characterized by short stature and
lack of sexual development at puberty. Prosecutors described her as
"easy prey," which is how Neville and Hall, days after their arrest,
characterized their victim as they spoke with reporters and laughed
about how Robinson died as she pleaded to live.
The pair had worked with her at an Arlington Kroger store before
they were fired and knew the route she took as she rode her bike to
work. When they offered her a ride, she accepted. "We had a bet
going to see who could shoot and kill the most people between the
two of us," Neville told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram two weeks
after his arrest, explaining that he and Hall wanted to become
serial killers whose victims were racial minorities. "No matter if
it was blacks or Mexicans — anybody as long as they weren't our
color." Robinson was part Native American.
Neville declined to speak with reporters in the weeks before his
scheduled execution. Next week, another inmate, Clyde Smith, 32,
faces injection for the robbery and slaying of a Houston taxi driver
Man faces execution for slaying
Defense arguing Neville is
By Jeff Mosier - Dallas Morning News
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Eight years ago this month, Robert Neville Jr. and Michael Hall
decided they were in the "mood to kill someone." They discussed
shooting a black person but changed their minds and agreed that
former grocery store co-worker Amy Robinson was an easy target. The
19-year-old was mentally challenged, more than a foot shorter than
either man and probably thought of them as friends.
Three weeks after she disappeared, Amy was found shot to death
with a pellet gun and a .22-caliber rifle in an isolated Fort Worth
field. Today, Mr. Neville, 31, is scheduled to die by injection for
that crime. "You hope that it brings the family some closure," said
David Montague, spokesman for the Tarrant County district attorney's
office. "You don't know that it will, but you hope it does."
Mr. Montague said the murder of Ms. Robinson was a shocking case
that horrified people like few others. She was a trusting woman with
the mind of a 14-year-old girl, and her killers boasted on
television about torturing her before shooting her to death. They
were arrested while trying to escape into Mexico. "She was such a
young and innocent person," Mr. Montague said. "When some of the
details came out about how she was tormented before she was killed,
it struck a chord with people. It was brutal and senseless."
Mr. Hall was also sentenced to death, but an execution date has
not been set for him. In May, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
rejected a claim that Mr. Hall was mentally retarded at the time of
the crime and should be spared the death penalty.
The U.S. Supreme
Court ruled in 2002 that mentally retarded people cannot be
executed. Attorneys representing Mr. Neville are making similar
arguments this week to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in an
attempt to stop the execution.
Fort Worth attorney Rick Alley is
asking the court to give mentally ill inmates, such as Mr. Neville,
the same protection from execution as mentally retarded people and
Mr. Neville suffers from lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that
in his case attacks the brain, Mr. Alley said. He said the illness
makes his client act irrationally and dangerously and often gives
him "psychopathic tendencies." "He is so mentally ill that to
execute him would be cruel and unusual punishment," Mr. Alley said.
Barring a stay of execution, Mr. Neville will be given four hours
Wednesday morning to spend with family and friends at the Polunsky
Unit near Livingston, Texas. After that, he'll be transferred to the
There, Mr. Neville will receive a last meal and
could meet with attorneys and a spiritual adviser. About 6 p.m., the
execution will begin. Ms. Robinson's mother, two sisters and one
current and one retired Arlington police officer are expected to
witness the execution, state officials said.
Ms. Robinson's grandmother Carolyn Barker, who became an
outspoken victims' rights advocate after her granddaughter's death,
is not scheduled to attend the execution. She lobbied for workplace
laws to protect minors and mentally retarded people from felons and
helped create Our Garden of Angels, a sanctuary for families of
Ray Stewart, a friend of Mrs. Barker and former
victim liaison with the Tarrant County district's attorney's office,
said the creation of the garden with its more than 80 crosses has
been cathartic for Ms. Robinson's family. "It was a chance to
meditate on the good parts of life," he said. "Carolyn turned her
attention to helping others survive through something like that. It
strengthened her and gave her purpose."
Eighteen-year-old Michael Hall and his friend Robert Neville
decided to kill someone because Hall was angry that he had a
"sucky-ass" life. They started searching for the right victim and
preparing for their crime by obtaining rifles, pellet guns, a
crossbow, and ammunition.
After much looking, Hall and Neville
finally chose nineteen-year-old Amy Robinson, a friend and former
coworker, because she trusted them and they "didn't have to put
bruises on her to get her in the car."
The evidence also revealed
that Amy had a genetic disorder that made her small and mentally and
physically slow. She stood four feet five inches tall and had the
mental capacity of a third or fourth grader.
On February 15, 1998, Hall and Neville went looking for Amy in
order to carry out their murderous plan. They checked her work
schedule at the Kroger grocery store and then lay in wait for her to
ride by on her bicycle on her way to work.
When the pair saw Amy,
they coaxed her into the car, promising to drop her at work after
they circled around in the country. As Neville drove, Amy complained
that she did not want to be late for work. Neville then pretended to
have a flat tire and pulled the car over on a dirt road by a remote
Hall and Neville got out of the car and walked into the field
carrying their weapons while an unsuspecting Amy waited in the car
listening to the radio. At some point, Hall persuaded Amy to get out
of the car, telling her she needed to go talk to Neville near a
As Amy walked toward Neville, he fired a crossbow at her several
times. Neville missed each shot, but Amy became angry when the last
arrow grazed her hair. When Amy started walking back to the car,
Hall shot her in the back of her leg with his pellet gun. Hall and
Neville laughed while Amy cried in pain.
Meanwhile, Neville returned
to the car and got his .22 caliber rifle. When Hall managed to
maneuver Amy back into the field, Neville shot her in the chest.
Hall then shot her in the chest "three or four or six times" with
the pellet gun. Amy fell to the ground making loud noises and
Hall then stood over her and stared for five to ten
minutes. The pair worried that someone would hear Amy, so Neville
shot her in the head, killing her instantly.
Hall and Neville then left Amy and her bicycle in an area where
they would not be easily discovered. A few days later, they returned
to the scene. Neville fired shots into Amy's dead body, and Hall
took keys and money from her pocket.
When Amy's family and coworkers
realized she was missing, a massive search ensued. More than two
weeks later, authorities focused on Hall and Neville. Fearing they
would be caught, the pair fled Arlington but were soon arrested when
they attempted to cross the border into Mexico. The authorities
found Amy's body on the day of the arrest.
Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson
Robert James Neville Jr., 31, was executed by lethal injection on
8 February 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the kidnapping and murder
of a 19-year-old woman.
On 15 December 1998, Neville, then 23, and Michael Hall, 18, were
driving in Arlington when they spotted Amy Robinson, 19, riding her
bicycle to work. Robinson and Neville worked at the same grocery
Robinson was mentally challenged and also suffered from
Turner's syndrome, a genetic disorder that stunted her growth and
sexual development at puberty.
After Robinson accepted the ride, the
men drove her to a rural area in Fort Worth, and began shooting her.
First, Hall shot her in the leg with a pellet gun. Next, Hall and
Neville shot her seven times with a .22-caliber rifle.
That day, a store employee called Robinson's family to notify
them that she had not shown up for work. The family then called the
police, who questioned Neville and Hall. Neville told the police
that he worked with Robinson and knew her socially, but had not seen
her in a couple of months.
Two weeks later, Hall's mother reported to the police that Hall
had been missing for several days. Hall's stepbrother told the
police that Hall had told him he and Neville had abducted and killed
Robinson. Neville and Hall were arrested on 3 March in Eagle Pass,
as they were attempting to cross into Mexico.
Neville admitted killing Robinson and told police where to find
her body. He said that one day when he and Hall were drunk, he told
Hall that he "would just like to [go] out and kill somebody." They
initially discussed killing a black person, but then changed their
minds and agreed that Amy Robinson, being small and mentally
challenged, was an easier target. Robinson was also part Native
After his arrest, Robinson told reporters that he and Hall wanted
to become serial killers of racial minorities. "We had a bet going
to see who could shoot and kill the most people between the two of
us," he said. "No matter if it was blacks or Mexicans - anybody as
long as they weren't our color."
Neville had a prior conviction for burglary of a motor vehicle.
He served two years of a ten-year sentence and was released on
parole in June 1997.
Additionally, evidence was introduced at his
punishment hearing that at the age of 16 or 17, he sexually molested
boys and girls aged 7 to 11, and he tortured cats. At the grocery
store where he worked, Neville had ridiculed a mentally challenged
coworker and avoided sacking groceries for minority customers.
A jury convicted Neville of capital murder in December 1998 and
sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed
the conviction and sentence in December 1999. All of his subsequent
appeals in state and federal court were denied. Michael Wayne Hall
was also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. He is
on death row as of this writing.
"I hope you can find it in yourselves to forgive me, and I hope
all this here will kind of settle your pain. And I hope the Lord
will give you comfort and peace. I just want you to know I am very
sorry for what I have done," Neville said in his final statement.
"If I see Amy on the other side, I will tell her how much you love
and miss her. And we will have a lot to talk about."
turned toward his parents and said, "I am sorry for putting you
through all this pain and stuff. I love you all, and I will see you
on the other side." The lethal injection was then started. He was
pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Robert Neville Jr., TX - February 8
Do Not Execute Robert Neville Jr.!
Robert James Neville Jr., a 31-year-old white man, is facing
execution on Feb. 8, 2006 for one count of aggravated murder. In
1998 Neville and his accomplice, Michael Hall, drove their coworker,
19-year-old Amy Robinson, to a remote field in Tarrant County where
they shot and killed her. The two were captured by U.S. Customs
agents near the Mexican border.
Neville doesn’t contest his guilt in the killing of Ms. Robinson.
However, for Neville to be put to death, it is necessary that he
have committed aggravated murder, in this case murder and kidnapping.
Neville claims that he did not kidnap Robinson.
Neville says that
she got into the car with him and Hall willingly and without
coercion. Neville raised the issue of his innocence of the
kidnapping charge in a habeas corpus petition made to the 5th
Circuit Court of Appeals, but the court refused to consider this
issue, as Neville had not previously raised it in a Texas appellate
Because Neville already had filed a habeas petition in the
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, he could not address the kidnapping
issue in another petition. This left Neville stuck. A man who might
not be guilty of a capital crime may now be executed because the
proper appeal was not filed in the proper court.
What’s more, Neville may have been suffering from a psychiatric
disorder. The key to his defense was that he had lupus, a disease
which causes psychosis in some patients. Yet his attorney made no
effort to determine potential jurors’ attitudes toward the disease
during jury selection.
It is possible that Neville actually killed Ms. Robinson, but
likely that the crime did not meet the standard for Neville to
qualify for the death penalty. There is also a serious question
whether Neville was mentally ill when he committed the crime, and
whether he will be so on the day of his execution. For these reasons,
we must not allow Texas to put Robert Neville Jr. to death.
Please write Gov. Rick Perry requesting that he stop the
execution of Robert Neville Jr.!
Tarrant killers to be executed in February
By John Moritz - Fort Worth Star Telegram
Mon, Dec. 26, 2005
AUSTIN - Two Death Row inmates from Tarrant County who were
condemned in unrelated slayings are scheduled to be executed in
early 2006. Robert James Neville Jr., one of two men sent to Death
Row for the abduction, torture and killing of Amy Robinson, 19, of
Arlington in February 1998, is scheduled to die Feb. 8.
Two weeks later, Steven Kenneth Staley, who gunned down
restaurant manager Robert Read during a botched robbery of a far
west Fort Worth Steak and Ale in October 1989, is scheduled to be
executed. If the executions are carried out, they will be the first
involving Tarrant County inmates since August 2004.
Staley had been
scheduled to die in March, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
granted him a stay of execution so his attorney could pursue claims
that Staley’s mental condition has deteriorated so much that he no
longer comprehends the punishment that awaits him. His execution is
now set for Feb. 23.
According to court testimony and news accounts, Neville, 31, and
a friend, Michael Wayne Hall, offered to give Robinson a ride Feb.
15, 1998, when they saw her riding her bicycle to work at a Kroger
store in Arlington where she sacked groceries.
Robinson, who was
learning-impaired, knew the pair as former co-workers and had
considered them to be friends. Instead of taking Robinson to the
store, they took her to a field in east Fort Worth where they shot
at her with a pellet gun and a pistol-grip crossbow. She was also
beaten and begged for her life before she was killed by rifle shots
to her chest and head.
Neville and Hall were arrested March 3, 1998,
in Eagle Pass. Neville boasted about the slaying and told
investigators, as well as TV and newspaper reporters, that he
laughed as Robinson lay on the ground, gasping for air. Her body was
not discovered for 16 days.
“It was an extremely brutal murder,” said Arlington police
spokeswoman Christy Gilfour, who covered the slaying as a reporter
for the Star-Telegram. Neville expressed remorse after his death
sentence was handed down. “I feel if ... I get this over with now,
hopefully my ... execution will bring some kind of peace to the
victim’s family,” he said at the end of his trial. Hall, 26, was
also convicted and sentenced to death. His execution date has not
2005’s final execution was Shannon Charles Thomas on Nov. 16. He
was one of five Harris County inmates executed in 2005. There were
19 inmates executed in 2005, the lowest number since 2001 and far
below the high of 40 in 2000.
Texas remains the nation’s leader in executions since the Supreme
Court’s ban on capital punishment was lifted in 1976. Since
executions resumed in Huntsville, 355 inmates have been put to death,
meaning that Texas has accounted for about 35 percent of all modern-era
executions in the nation.
State Executes Convicted Torture Killer
Convicted torture killer Robert Neville, Jr., 31, was executed
just after 6 p.m. Wednesday in Huntsville for the 1998 slaying of
Amy Robinson, 19, of Arlington, a mentally impaired woman with whom
he once worked at a grocery store. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to
block the execution earlier Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Neville and Michael Wayne Hall, who is also on
death row, kidnapped Robinson as she bicycled to work and took her
to a remote area of Tarrant County where she was tortured and then
shot to death.
Neville explained in a TV interview that he and Hall killed the
woman "for the adrenaline rush" and that Robinson was used for "target
Neville was the first of three prisoners scheduled for execution
over the next 15 days. Next week, 32-year-old death row inmate Clyde
Smith faces execution for the robbery and slaying of a Houston taxi
driver in 1992.
Click Here For More Information On Scheduled Executions From The
Texas Department Of Criminal Justice
Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Hello, my name is Robert Neville. I am currently on death row and
have been here for 2 years. I spend my time reading, writing, and
praying that one day I will be able to hold my 11 year old daughter
once again. I am begging for help ! I need help legally, financially,
and personally. Financially, my family is unable to pay for funeral
costs and sufficient legal help. The money you send will go toward
funeral costs, legal help ... All I need is help and a friend. My
mother will be collecting funds for my legal fees and funeral costs.
So please help if you can.... Visit Webpage for more info at: http://ccadp.org/robertneville.htm
If you'd like to be a pen friend I would appreciate that also.
Robert Neville 999293
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston Texas 77351 USA
Arlington Mother Prepares For Murderer's Execution
Feb 8, 2006
(CBS 11 News) ARLINGTON - A few clothes are about all Tina
Robinson has.The Grand Prairie mother loaded them into her car
Tuesday evening for a journey that she's waited eight years to make.“I'm
being there for my daughter and for my other daughters and I feel
that's real important,” Robinson told CBS 11's J.D. Miles. Robinson
said she wants to see Neville die. She will be a witness when the
29-year-old is executed Wednesday.
Neville murdered Robinson's 19-year-old daughter, Amy, in 1998.It
was cold sinister attack that Neville and his accomplice, Michael
Hall, admitted to in interviews after being caught at the Mexican
border.Neville and Hall said they shot the girl in a Tarrant County
field after offering her a ride to work.The grisly details have
haunted the family ever since.
The eight years since Amy Robinson's murder have been a struggle
for the family emotionally and financially. In fact, they can barely
afford the trip to Huntsville to witness the execution, her mother
said. “My doctors have told me not to go there. I see a psychiatrist,
he told me not to go there. My friends have told me not to go there
but as a mother you have to go there,” Tina Robinson said.Robinson
said her daughter's last word was "Robert." Only the word "Amy" from
Neville's last breath will bring peace to Tina Robinson and that's
why she's headed to Huntsville.
Amy is going to live forever
By Mark Agee - Fort Worth Star Telegram
Wed, Feb. 08, 2006
A white cross with Amy Robinson's name painted in black letters
stands near where she was tortured and killed almost eight years
ago. Carolyn Barker, her grandmother, said the cross, the first of
92 erected for crime victims at Our Garden of Angels in Euless, will
stay there long after Robinson's two killers are buried and
Robert Neville is to die after 6 p.m. today, a week shy
of the eighth anniversary of Amy's killing. "Through the garden, Amy
is going to live forever. He won't," Barker said. "She should always
be remembered. Not him."
Robinson was a slight, dark-haired 19-year-old who had Turner's
syndrome, which inhibits physical development, and a diminished
mental capacity. Robinson planned to go to a school in San Marcos
with hopes of helping teach mentally retarded children. "She was so
sweet," Barker said. "She just loved kids and wanted to help people
who had problems learning, like she did."
Robinson wanted to live on her own and work for a year before
going to school. She moved out of Barker's home, rented a room from
an older woman who lived along West Division Street and got a job as
a bagger at a Kroger grocery store on South Bowen Road, riding her
bike the mile to work for six months.
Neville, now 31, and Michael Hall, now 26, had been fired from
the Kroger, where they met Robinson. They later told reporters that
before being arrested on an Arlington warrant while crossing into
Mexico, they planned to become serial killers who targeted racial
minorities. "We had a bet going to see who could shoot and kill the
most people between the two of us," Neville told the Star-Telegram
in a jailhouse interview two weeks after his capture. "No matter if
it was blacks or Mexicans -- anybody as long as they weren't our
color. ... I've always liked to live my life on the edge."
They went to the Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 15, 1998, looking for a
mentally retarded black man who worked there. When they discovered
he was not working that day, they checked the schedule and found
that Robinson, who was part Native American, would be at work soon.
Knowing that she rode her bike down Division Street, they found
her and offered her a ride to work. They put her bike in back of
Neville's Chevrolet El Camino and drove to Mosier Valley Road, near
the Fort Worth-Euless border, just outside Arlington. There, they
shot her with a pellet gun to torture her. They laughed during
interviews as they described how she begged for her life.
Neville, who said they did it "just for the adrenaline rush,"
ended her life with a shot to the head from a .22-caliber rifle.
Both men said they killed Robinson because she was "easy," a
trusting target who couldn't fight back. "They chose someone weak,"
Barker said. "They were cowards."
Neville, who initially waived his appeals and asked for the death
penalty but later fought it, has all but exhausted his options. The
Texas Criminal Court of Appeals declined Monday to stop the
Neville's attorney, Richard Allee, told The Associated
Press that he is taking the case to federal courts, saying the drugs
used in the execution constitute cruel punishment and are
Allee also said Neville may be mentally retarded and suffering
from the long-term effects of lupus, which would make him ineligible
for execution. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that executing
the mentally retarded is cruel and unusual. "That doesn't mean we're
exonerating him, but the ultimate penalty of death is simply not
appropriate," Allee told the AP. "He didn't choose to be born with
lupus. And because of that, he does not have the kind of controls
built into him that other people do."
Barker became a victim's-rights advocate and joined several
groups after Robinson's death. An Amy Robinson Memorial Act was
introduced in Congress but never passed. It would have required
employers to notify employees if they were working with a sex
offender. Neville had been required to register as a sex offender
because of a conviction for indecency with a child.
Arlington police homicide Detective Jim Ford said the case drew
community interest and ire because of its shocking nature. "There
was nothing more terrible than the kidnapping and murder of a child.
This child was mentally handicapped," Ford said. "This is one of the
most terrible cases."
Barker's small memorial to Robinson on Mosier Valley Road has
grown. Besides the crosses dedicated to slaying victims at Our
Garden of Angels, there are statues, benches, a pond and a fountain.
Ten more families of victims plan to erect crosses there. "I
couldn't just put one cross up. Amy never liked to be by herself,"
Barker said. "But this is a garden we don't want to grow."
Amy's mother, Tina Robinson, could not be reached for comment.
Barker said Tina Robinson plans to attend the execution. Barker said
she will not be there. She said that she is happy with the sentence
but that it brings little solace. "Her life meant a lot more to me
than his," Barker said.
Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Robert Neville - ALIVE e.V. - Voices From Inside
Hello, my name is Robert Neville. I am 29 years of age (D.O.B.
October 5, 1974). I have red hair and blue eyes. I am 6’1’’ in
height and weigh 155 lbs. in weight. My blood-line is Irish,
Scottish and American Indian. I have been on death row for 6 years.
I was convicted of capital murder von December 19, 1998 and got to
death row on January 5, 1999.
I pass my time by writing poetry, corresponding with friends and
family, and reading just about anything I can get my hands on. I
like subjects of animals, gardening, architecture, castles and
history. I also like novels of course. As far as history goes, I
prefer European, Italian and Ancient Greek history.
I am hoping to find a few good friends from around the world to
correspond with, preferably someone over the age of 30, but will
correspond with the younger crowd. I ask that anyone who chooses to
write to me, that they be Gay-friends for I am a gay man and have
been all of my life and will stay this way until my death. I’m not
looking for any haters, just lot’s of love and respect. Also should
anyone feel like writing to me, I ask that they be able to write
good English. it doesn’t have to be perfect English, just readable.
Well, this is all I have for now. If you are searching for a
friend to the end that let’s talk. Thanks! Lots of love!
Neville v. Dretke, 423 F.3d 474 (5th Cir. 2005) (Habeas)
Background: Following affirmance on appeal of defendant's state
conviction for murder in the course of kidnapping and imposition of
death penalty, defendant filed petition for writ of habeas corpus.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas,
Terry R. Means, J., denied petition, and defendant sought
certificate of appealability.
Holdings: The Court of Appeals, Edith Brown Clement, Circuit
Judge, held that:
(1) habeas petitioner failed to exhaust his claims of actual
innocence in state court, and thus such claims were procedurally
defaulted and certificate of appealability (COA) would not issue;
(2) petitioner was not entitled to a stay to file a successive
habeas petition with the state to exhaust claims;
(3) actual innocence exception to the procedural default doctrine
did not apply; and
(4) petitioner failed to establish ineffective assistance of counsel.
Certificate of appealability denied.
EDITH BROWN CLEMENT, Circuit Judge:
The petitioner, Texas death row prisoner Robert James Neville, has
been convicted of murder in the course of kidnapping and sentenced
to death by a jury. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his
conviction on direct appeal,FN1 and denied his state habeas corpus
petition which claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. Neville
then filed a petition with the federal district court pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254, stating several claims in addition to his ineffective
assistance of counsel claim. The district court denied the
ineffective assistance of counsel claim on the merits, and denied
the other claims on the grounds of procedural default. Neville
requests a certificate of appealability (“COA”) to allow him to
appeal the denial of his petition.
FN1. Initially, Neville requested a waiver of all appeals, and to
be executed “as soon as legally possible.” However, because criminal
appeals in Texas are automatic, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals,
without a brief from Neville, reviewed the record for fundamental
error. Finding none, it affirmed the conviction.
On February 15, 1998, in Arlington, Texas, Amy Robinson failed
to report to work at the Kroger grocery store at 1:00 p.m and was
reported missing. She was last seen leaving her house on her bicycle
to ride to work.
In the course of the investigation of Robinson's
disappearance, the police contacted Robert James Neville and Michael
Hall, Robinson's former co-workers. Neville told the police that he
was acquainted with Robinson personally and professionally, but that
he did not have any information about her disappearance.
28, the police were alerted by Hall's mother that Hall had been
missing for several days. Hall's stepbrother told police that Hall
had confided that he and Neville had abducted and killed Robinson. A
warrant for their arrest was subsequently issued.
On March 3, Hall and Neville were arrested by the U.S. Customs
Service in Eagle Pass, Texas, near the Mexican border. Neville
admitted that he saw Robinson while driving with Hall around
Arlington around 12:00 p.m. on February 15th, that he and Hall asked
her if she wanted a ride to work, and that she accepted the ride.
He confessed that they stopped in a remote field in the Moslier Valley
around 12:45 p.m. where Hall first shot Robinson in the leg with
pellet gun, and then shot her with a seven round .22-caliber rifle.
Neville told the police that he also shot Robinson, both in the
chest and the head with a rifle. He later revealed the location of
Robinson's body on a map, and the agents found her body.
Neville was tried for murder in the course of kidnapping, a
capital offense under Texas state law. Tex. Penal Code §§
19.02(b)(1) (murder); 19.03(a)(2) (capital murder). A jury convicted
him, and sentenced him to death.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
affirmed his conviction on direct appeal, and denied a subsequent
petition for writ of habeas corpus, which claimed ineffective
assistance of counsel. *478 Neville filed a petition for writ of
habeas corpus in federal district court, raising five claims
including that he is actually innocent of the charge of kidnapping;
that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his
counsel failed to question the jurors during voir dire about lupus,
a disease that Neville claims affects his personality; that the
Texas death penalty scheme unconstitutionally limits the jury's
discretion; that the Texas clemency procedures violate substantive
and procedural due process; and that the death penalty violates an
international treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (“ICCPR”), which is binding on the United States.
The federal district court denied his petition, dismissing the
ineffective assistance of counsel claim on the merits, and
dismissing the other claims on grounds of procedural default.
Neville seeks a COA to appeal the denial.
* * *
Because reasonable jurists could not debate the conclusions of
the district court, that four of Neville's claims are procedurally
barred, and that Neville has failed to put forward sufficient
evidence to establish that he was denied effective counsel, we DENY
Neville's application for a COA on each of the issues raised.
Without a COA, we lack jurisdiction to review the district court's
denial of habeas relief.
Neville v. Dretke, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL
2049335 (N.D. Tex. 2004) (Habeas)
Texas death row inmate Robert James Neville, (“Petitioner” and
“Neville”) has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2254. Respondent is Douglas
Dretke, the Director of the Correctional Institutions Division of
the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (“TDCJ-CID”). For the
reasons set forth below, the Court denies each of the claims in this
petition for writ of habeas corpus.
On February 15, 1998, Robert James Neville murdered Amy Robinson
in the course of her kidnaping in Tarrant County, Texas. A jury
convicted Neville of capital murder, and assessed his punishment at
death by lethal injection. See State v. Neville, No. 0685474A (371st
Dist. Ct., Tarrant County, Tex. Dec. 18, 1998). Neville waived his
Thereafter, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
reviewed the record of his trial for fundamental error and, having
found none, affirmed the judgment of conviction and sentence of
death. See Neville v. State, No. 73,368 (Tex.Crim.App.1999)
FN1. On August 23, 1999, Neville wrote the Clerk of the Texas
Court of Criminal Appeals requesting that all present, pending and
future appeals, writs, etc. be waived and my execution be carried
out as soon as legally possible. I have discussed my intentions with
my attorney, family and friends and have given it a great deal of
thought. The choice is not rash nor based on emotions such as
depression or hopelessness. I am rational, competent and fully aware
of what I'm asking. Neville v. State, No. 73, 368 (Tex.Crim.App.,
Aug. 26, 1999).
Upon remand for hearing of this waiver, the trial court conducted
an examination of Neville, admonishing him of the dangers and
disadvantages of self-representation, and eliciting the reasons for
his decision to waive further appeals, as shown in the following
Q. What is your reason for not wanting to continue with your
A. My family and the victim's family. I feel [if] I get this over
with now, hopefully [my] execution will bring some kind of peace to
the victim's family and keep my family from having to worry whether
one of the days down the road, whether I'll still be alive or have
an execution coming up. (Supp. St. Hab. Rep. Rec. at 20.) The trial
court then found that Neville's action was voluntarily and
intelligently made. ( Id. at 21.)
A petition for habeas corpus in state court was filed on August
7, 2000 (Record of state habeas proceeding, hereafter “SHR” at 2),
complaining only that Neville “was denied effective assistance of
counsel when trial counsel failed to voir dire on a critical
punishment issue.” (SHR at 3, 6-9.) This application was denied on
March 28, 2001. See Ex parte Neville, Writ No. 48, 694-01
Claims - In five grounds for relief, Neville complains that he is
actually innocent of the offense of capital murder, that trial
counsel were ineffective in conducting voir dire of the jury panel,
that the death penalty is inherently unconstitutional, and that the
state clemency procedures are inadequate and violate an
international treaty. For the reasons set out below, none of these
allegations are sufficient to establish a right to the relief
Procedural Bar - Respondent asserts a procedural bar to four of
petitioner's claims. Federal courts will not consider the merits of
a claim resolved by the state courts on an independent and adequate
state law ground. See Lee v. Kemna, 534 U.S. 362, 375, 122 S.Ct.
877, 885, 151 L.Ed.2d 820 (2002); Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722,
729, 111 S.Ct. 2546, 2553, 115 L.Ed.2d 640 (1991). Therefore, the
Court will address these issues first.
To be adequate to bar federal review, a state-law ground must be
“firmly established and regularly followed” at the time that it was
violated, see Ford v. Georgia, 498 U.S. 411, 423-24, 111 S.Ct. 850,
857, 112 L.Ed.2d 935 (1991), and the state court's application of
the procedural rule must not otherwise be exorbitant. See Lee v.
Kemna, 534 U.S. at 376, 122 S.Ct. at 885. Petitioner bears the
burden of showing that a state procedural rule is not adequate to
bar federal review, see Stokes v. Anderson, 123 F.3d 858, 860 (5th
Cir.1997), cert. denied,522 U.S. 1134, 118 S.Ct. 1091, 140 L.Ed.2d
147 (1998); that sufficient cause and prejudice exist to excuse the
procedural default; or that imposition of the bar would result in a
fundamental miscarriage of justice. See Edwards v. Carpenter, 529
U.S. 446, 451, 120 S.Ct. 1587, 1591, 146 L.Ed.2d 518 (2000); Coleman
v. Thompson, 501 U.S. at 750, 111 S.Ct. at 2565.
Respondent claims that petitioner's first, third, fourth and
fifth claims are unexhausted and now procedurally barred by such
default because Texas law precludes a successive state habeas claim.
See Beazley v. Johnson, 242 F.3d 248, 264 (5th Cir.) (citing Coleman
v. Thompson, 501 U.S. at 735 n. 1, 111 S.Ct. at 2557 n. 1), cert.
denied,534 U.S. 945, 122 S.Ct. 329, 151 L.Ed.2d 243 (2001).
first claim, Petitioner complains that his death sentence violates
his Fifth Amendment right to due process, his Eighth Amendment right
against cruel and unusual punishment, and his Fourteenth Amendment
right to equal protection under the Constitution because he is not
guilty of the offense of capital murder. (Pet. at 6-10.)
third claim, Petitioner contends that his rights to due process of
law and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed by
the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments were violated because
of the impossibility of simultaneously restricting the jury's
discretion to impose the death penalty while also allowing the jury
unlimited discretion to consider all evidence militating against
imposition of the death penalty under the Texas death-penalty scheme.
(Pet. at 17-22.)
In his fourth claim, Petitioner alleges that his execution would
violate his rights to due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments and would constitute cruel and unusual punishment under
the Eighth Amendment because of the inadequacy of Texas clemency
procedures. (Pet. at 23-28.)
Similarly, in his fifth and final claim, Petitioner contends that
his execution would violate an international treaty guaranteeing
adequate clemency procedures. ( Id.) Respondent asserts that
Petitioner has failed to present any of these claims to the highest
state court and they are all, therefore, unexhausted. Further, that
since Texas law would now prohibit such claims from being raised in
a subsequent habeas-corpus writ application, that these claims are
all barred from review by this court.
Petitioner acknowledges that he has not presented these claims to
the state courts. (Pet. at 6, 17, 23.) Nevertheless, Petitioner does
not establish that the state procedural law precluding subsequent
writs is not adequate, nor does he provide either an excuse for his
procedural default or a showing that a manifest injustice would
result from this bar. See Beazley, 242 F.3d at 264; Stokes, 123 F.3d
at 860; Edwards, 529 U.S. at 451, 120 S.Ct. at 1591. Therefore,
Petitioner's first, third, fourth and fifth claims are denied as
Standard of Review - The standard of review in federal habeas
proceedings is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), which provides,
in pertinent part: An application for a writ of habeas corpus on
behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state
court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was
adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the
adjudication of the claim - (1) resulted in a decision that was
contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly
established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the
United States; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence
presented in a State court proceeding.
Since the petition in this case was filed after April 24, 1996,
the above-cited provision of the AEDPA applies to those claims that
were adjudicated on the merits. See Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320,
326-27, 117 S.Ct. 2059, 2063, 138 L.Ed.2d 481 (1997). “Resolution on
the merits” in the habeas corpus context is a term of art that
refers to the state court's disposition of the case on substantive
rather than procedural grounds. Green v. Johnson, 116 F.3d 1115,
1121 (5th Cir.1997).
Section 2254(d)(1) concerns pure questions of law as well as
mixed questions of law and fact. See Martin v. Cain, 246 F.3d 471,
475 (5th Cir.), cert. denied,534 U.S. 885, 122 S.Ct. 194, 151 L.Ed.2d
136 (2001). Under the “contrary to” clause, a federal habeas court
may grant the writ of habeas corpus if the state court arrives at a
conclusion opposite to that reached by the United States Supreme
Court on a question of law or if the state court decides a case
differently from the United States Supreme Court on a set of
materially indistinguishable facts. Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S.
362, 412-3, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 1523, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000).
With respect to the “unreasonable application” clause, a federal
court may grant a writ of habeas corpus if the state court
identifies the correct governing legal principle from the United
States Supreme Court's decisions, but unreasonably applies that
principle to the facts of the prisoner's case. Id.
Under Williams, a
state court unreasonably applies Supreme Court precedent if it
“unreasonably extends a legal precedent from [Supreme Court]
precedent to a new context where it should not apply or unreasonably
refuses to extend that principle to a new context where it should
Section 2254(d)(2) concerns questions of fact. See Moore v.
Johnson, 225 F.3d 495, 501, 504 (5th Cir.2000), cert. denied,532 U.S.
949, 121 S.Ct. 1420, 149 L.Ed.2d 360 (2001). Under § 2254(d)(2),
federal courts must give deference to state-court findings unless
they were “based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in
light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding.”
Chambers v. Johnson, 218 F.3d 360, 363 (5th Cir.) (as modified on
denial of rehearing), cert. denied,531 U.S. 1002, 121 S.Ct. 508, 148
L.Ed.2d 473 (2000).
The resolution of factual issues by the state court is
presumptively correct and will not be disturbed unless the prisoner
rebuts the presumption by clear and convincing evidence. See28 U.S.C.
Assistance of Counsel - In his second claim for relief, Neville
contends that his right to the effective assistance of counsel under
the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments was violated when his trial
counsel failed to properly examine potential jurors during the voir
dire process. (Pet. at 10-17.) This claim lacks merit.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to the
effective assistance of counsel. U.S. Const. Amend. VI. The two-pronged
standard by which a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is
measured is set forth in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668,
698, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2070, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984).
The first prong of Strickland requires the defendant to show that
counsel's performance was deficient. See Strickland, 466 U.S. at
687, 104 S.Ct. at 2064. To prove deficiency, a defendant “must show
that counsel's performance fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness.”466 U.S. at 687-88, 104 S.Ct. at 2064.
This requires a showing that the errors made by his counsel were
so serious that such counsel was not functioning as the counsel
guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. See466 U.S. at 687, 104 S.Ct. at
This court must indulge a strong presumption that counsel's
conduct fell within the wide range of reasonable professional
assistance or sound trial strategy. See466 U.S. at 688-89, 104 S.Ct.
at 2064-65. Judicial scrutiny of counsel's performance must be
highly deferential and every effort must be made to eliminate the
distorting effects of hindsight. See466 U.S. at 689, 104 S.Ct. 2065.
The second prong of this test requires the defendant to show
prejudice by demonstrating that there is a reasonable probability
that, but for counsel's deficient performance, the result of the
proceeding would have been different. See466 U.S. at 694, 104 S.Ct.
A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine
confidence in the outcome. See466 U.S. at 694, 104 S.Ct. at 2068.
The court need not address both prongs of the Strickland standard if
the complainant has made an insufficient showing on one. See466 U.S.
at 697, 104 S.Ct. at 2069.
Neville argues that the importance of expert testimony during the
punishment phase regarding his medical condition and its effect on
his behavior required his attorneys to examine the potential jurors
on their views about this type of expert testimony, disease, and
psychiatric evidence. (Pet. at 12-13.)
He then alleges that no juror's examination contained any
meaningful exploration of the juror's views on these matters. This,
he argues, left their defense in a vacuum caused by their lack of
preparation, seriously undermining their defense. (Pet. at 16-17.)
This claim fails both prongs of Strickland.
Regarding the deficiency prong, Petitioner has not shown that
trial counsel's decision was anything other than reasonable trial
strategy. The first mention of the theory that the murder was
related to a disease (lupus) that may afflict Petitioner came from
the last witness his attorneys called in the punishment stage.
This gave the prosecution little time to react, and their
rebuttal witness was apparently not contacted until one hour before
he testified. (46 St. Rep. Rec. at 197-98.) This strategy appears
reasonably related to the doubtful nature of this defensive theory,
and the ease in which the prosecution was able to overcome it.
However, even if Petitioner had satisfied the first prong, he has
not shown any prejudice arising from counsel's decision. Petitioner
does not claim that any bias against such testimony tainted the
petit jury actually impaneled. See Clark v. Collins, 19 F.3d 959,
956 (5th Cir.1994).
Therefore, he has not shown “that there is a reasonable
probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the
result of the proceeding would have been different.” Strickland, 466
U.S. at 694, 104 S.Ct. at 1068; Moore v. Butler, 819 F.2d 517, 520
(5th Cir.1987). Since Petitioner has not satisfied either prong of
Strickland, his second claim for relief must be denied.
Evidentiary Hearing - In connection with these claims, Neville
requested an evidentiary hearing. When there is a factual dispute
that, if resolved in the petitioner's favor, would entitle him to
relief and the state has not afforded the petitioner a full and fair
evidentiary hearing, a federal habeas-corpus petitioner is entitled
to discovery and an evidentiary hearing. See Hughes v. Johnson, 191
F.3d 607 (5th Cir.1999); Goodwin v. Johnson, 132 F.3d 162, 178 (5th
Cir.1997). The AEDPA raised the standard for obtaining relief on
claims governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
Therefore, the allegations of the petition should now demonstrate
that this higher standard for relief can be met before an
evidentiary hearing will be warranted. Further, the AEDPA eliminated
the requirement of a “full and fair hearing” in state court before
according deference to state-court findings. Valdez, 274 F.3d at
Finally, the AEDPA expressly limits the availability of an
evidentiary hearing when the habeas petitioner has failed to develop
the factual basis of the claim in the state-court proceedings. See
28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2). Each of these requirements imposes
additional restrictions on the ability of federal courts to grant
evidentiary hearings and relief in federal habeas-corpus proceedings.
FN2. While reaffirming the Goodwin standard for the initial grant
of an evidentiary hearing, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in
Valdez held that “a full and fair hearing is not a prerequisite to
the application of AEDPA's deferential framework.”274 F.3d at 948.
The instant case does not warrant an evidentiary hearing. The
only claim reached on its merits clearly failed to allege facts
which, even if true, would authorize relief. Therefore, the request
for an evidentiary hearing is denied.
Order - Having concluded that Petitioner's first, third, fourth
and fifth claims for relief should be denied as procedurally barred,
and that Petitioner's second claim for relief should be denied on
its merits, it is, therefore, ORDERED that each of Petitioner's
claims for relief be and they are all hereby DENIED.
Robert James Neville