Intellectually Disabled Former Death Row Prisoner Glenn Holladay Sentenced to Life Without Parole


On June 26, 2009, Etowah County Circuit Judge Allen Millican sentenced Glenn Holladay to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Mr. Holladay’s death sentence earlier this year, ruling that Mr. Holladay cannot be executed because he is intellectually disabled.

Judge Millican imposed the life imprisonment without parole sentence on Mr. Holladay in a hostile proceeding in Gadsden, Alabama, last week. It was the only sentencing option left available by the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling striking down Mr. Holladay’s death sentence because he is intellectually disabled.

During Mr. Holladay’s trial in 1987, both the judge and the prosecutor agreed that Mr. Holladay is intellectually disabled. In 2002, the United States Supreme Court decided in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), that people with intellectual disability cannot be executed. The State then argued that Mr. Holladay was not intellectually disabled and tried to execute him in May 2003.

EJI attorneys obtained a stay of execution, after which a federal district court held an evidentiary hearing and found that Mr. Holladay is intellectually disabled. The State appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where EJI argued Mr. Holladay’s case. The appeals court agreed with the lower court, and the ordered that Mr. Holladay’s death sentence be vacated.