HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The woman convicted of capital murder in the February 2010 shooting deaths of three UAH professors has filed a challenge to her conviction and following appeals.
Amy Bishop Anderson pleaded guilty to capital murder in September 2012. Despite the guilty plea, later that month Bishop Anderson still had to stand trial, because Alabama law requires the state to prove its case in any capital murder situation. After less than 30 minutes of deliberations Monday, a jury found Bishop Anderson guilty of capital murder and sentenced her to life in prison without parole.
Though Bishop Anderson exhausted her appeals in August 2013, she has petitioned the court for relief from her sentence through the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 32 with a hand-written, 46-page document.
In her petition, Bishop Anderson claims she should be relieved from her conviction because:
- She involuntarily entered a guilty plea
- Evidence favorable to her case was withheld by the prosecution
- Her attorneys were ineffective
- She did not receive an adequate psychiatric evaluation
- New evidence has been discovered
She adds that she suffered from blackouts and hallucinations during her stay in the Madison County Jail. "During one "blackout" preceded by a conversation with a dead colleague I attempted suicide with a "popped-out" razor and had to be taken to the hospital," Bishop Anderson said in the petition.
She goes on to say the medication for her allergies and hallucinations made her unable to think correctly about her options during her trial.
Bishop Anderson is serving her sentence of life in prison without parole at Julia Tutwiler Prison For Women.
It's not unheard of for someone who has exhausted his or her appeals to file a Rule 32 petition. Recently, both Ronald Weems, the man convicted of the murder of Amanda Taylor, and Nicholas “Nick” Acklin, the man sentenced to death in 1998 for shooting six people, four of them fatally, in what became known as the “Cell Phone Murders,” have both filed Rule 32 petitions.
DA's Reaction to Appeal
Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard said Bishop's appeal is not a suprise and comes from a woman who is not happy with her "lot in life now"
"She is stuck there in prison for the rest of her life, and is trying anything she can to get out of that situation," Broussard told WHNT News 19 Wednesday evening.
Broussard is confident a judge will quickly throw out the appeal once the facts of this closed case are presented.