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Ruling barring death penalty against immigrant reversed

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Posted at 8:23 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 23:23:34-04

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court has reversed a lower-court ruling that barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against a Mexican immigrant charged with murder in a 2015 killing because he was intellectually disabled.

The justices ruled that a lower-court judge had correctly considered the strengths and weaknesses of Apolinar Altamirano’s life skills, but failed to assess his ability to meet society’s expectations of him.

The case will be back to the judge to make another determination on Altamirano’s disability.

Altamirano is accused of fatally shooting Grant Ronnebeck at a Mesa convenience store.

Altaminarno has pleaded not guilty to murder, robbery and other charges.