Condemned Inmate Claims Mental Disability

May 26, 2014

Kentucky's longest-serving death row inmate is claiming he has a mental disability and should be exempt from facing execution.

Attorneys for 55-year-old Karu Gene White say in a May 19 filing that he had an abusive upbringing and delayed development has a child d. The attorneys say those were among the factors that have resulted in White having a low IQ and being ineligible to face execution.

White killed 75-year-old Charles Gross, his wife, 74-year-old Lula Gross, and 79-year-old Sam Chaney during a February 1979 robbery in Haddix, an Appalachian mountain community of about 2,270 people in Breathitt County.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that people with mental disabilities were ineligible for execution. White cited the decision shortly afterward, prompting numerous delays in the appeals of his case.