Death penalty reinstated in 1993 Troy murder case

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal appeals court has reinstated the death penalty of a Alabama man convicted of blasting the mother of his child in the face with a shotgun 15 years ago.

A U.S. district judge had vacated the sentence of Holly Wood in the Sept. 1, 1993 slaying of ex-girlfriend Ruby Lois Gosha in her Troy, Ala., home because Wood's attorneys failed to tell the jury about his mental retardation during the trial's penalty phase. The state appealed.

An 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 Tuesday that Wood failed to show his lawyers were unconstitutionally ineffective in their strategy.

Judge Rosemary Barkett dissented, saying the Supreme Court had ruled defense lawyers had a duty to present evidence of mental retardation.

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