Ark. court: Death row inmate should have hearing

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas' Supreme Court says a death row inmate who believes he had an ineffective lawyer at his 2009 trial is entitled to a hearing.

A lawyer for Brandon Eugene Lacy says the inmate's mental health should have been brought up as Lacy faced trial in the death of Randall Walker in Benton County. Lawyer Patrick Benca said jurors should have also considered that Lacy had a history of drinking.

The state had said the facts of the case overwhelmingly pointed to Lacy's guilt and that a new hearing wasn't necessary. The government lawyers said that even a perfect defense strategy wouldn't have overcome the evidence.

The justices said a lower court shouldn't have dismissed Lacy's claim outright and said he should receive a hearing. One justice dissented.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.