JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court says a circuit judge should decide whether a man facing the death penalty needs new lawyers in state court.
Justices ruled Thursday on requests by Robert Simon, convicted of murdering four Quitman County residents in 1990.
The court isn’t deciding whether Simon should get another state court appeal.
Quitman County raised taxes to pay for the defense of Simon and co-defendant Anthony Carr. Mississippi later created an office to provide death penalty defense. However that office defends Carr and says representing Simon would be a conflict of interest.
Simon’s lawyers argue he’s too mentally ill for execution, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that claim in March. Lawyers want that court to reconsider. The same lawyers seek to represent Simon in state court.