HOUSTON (AP) — An intellectually disabled Texas inmate who has spent nearly four decades on death row has been granted parole, according to The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that it would be unconstitutional to execute Bobby James Moore because of his mental disability.
Moore, 60, was granted parole on Monday. Parole board spokesman Raymond Estrada said Moore will be released “upon processing by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”
Moore fatally shot 72-year-old Houston grocery store clerk James McCarble in 1980 during a robbery. He was eligible for release despite his life sentence because his crime occurred before Texas introduced the option of life without parole in 2005.
State Sen. John Whitmire, who spoke to board representatives, said the decision to release Moore was made after reviewing the time he had served, including consideration for his disability and the fact he was just 20 at the time of the offense, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“We agree with the U.S. Supreme Court that the intellectually disabled should not be executed,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in a statement. “His crime was heinous; the decision to grant parole is the exclusive authority of the state’s parole board.”