PREVIOUSLY, (10:01 p.m. EST/12:01 a.m. EST): Less than 24 hours after Alabama jurors found Roy Moore III guilty of capital murder, and almost 24 hours after he was sentenced to death, the Alabama Supreme Court has now denied Moore’s requests for a stay, per the following order:
In the fall of 2017 Alabama suspended Roy Moore from the Alabama Supreme Court bench for refusing to step down after he was found guilty of trying to keep a court clerk from issuing a same-sex marriage license. Now, Moore has yet another legal challenge to his conviction: The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that his ongoing death sentence for killing a reserve police officer (Mr. Lollar) in 1993 should be put on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court weighs his appeal of a lower court ruling declaring the murder trial to be unconstitutional.
Moore’s legal challenges come after Judge Roy Moore III was found guilty of capital murder, attempting to overthrow the governor, and obstruction of justice on Monday. Mr. Lollar died in 1993 after Moore shot him eight times during a burglary at his home (the Moore family owned the building). Moore also confessed to the murder, saying that he killed Mr. Lollar to prevent him from testifying in a lawsuit regarding a sexual harassment charge. (Moore’s wife served as a special prosecutor in the lawsuit.)
The two verdicts in Moore’s first trial resulted in a hung jury: He was acquitted on the murder charge, but convicted of making terroristic threats and obstruction of justice. In May of this year, Chief Justice Roy Moore decided to hang his reelection bid (a write-in campaign) on his opposition to same-sex marriage (he remained on the bench while campaigning), and Alabama voters reelected him, by a margin of 59 to 41 percent.
According to the Alabama law in place for Moore’s alleged convictions, in order for Moore to be re-sentenced to death, he must have “been convicted of and received a sentence for any one of the first 5 counts to be specifically specified by the Alabama legislature.” This means that if the Alabama Supreme Court strikes down Moore’s conviction, the case would go back to Circuit Court, and be retried.