Judge denies Amy Bishop’s petition for new trial

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Madison County Circuit Judge has denied Amy Bishop’s petition challenging her capital murder conviction.

Bishop had filed a Rule 32 challenge claiming she deserved a new trial.

Judge Alan Mann denied that petition this week, ruling Bishop’s claims are without merit. Mann presided over all aspects of the case, and trial, and said in his order Bishop acknowledged, verbally and non-verbally during trial that she understood what was happening.

“At no time did the Petitioner appear to have any difficulty understanding the terms being discussed, nor did she appear by her physical cues to be anything less than alert and fully engaged in the proceedings. Nothing in this Court’s interaction with the Petitioner during the plea proceedings was suggestive of her not being fully aware of her constitutional rights and the punishment she was facing.”

Bishop also made claims against her trial counsel.  All three lawyers, longtime defense attorneys in Madison County, were paid by the court.

“At no time did this Court observe anything less than the highest standards of advocacy and competency being met or exceeded by her 3 attorneys. This Court finds no merit to the Petitioner’s claims that her attorneys were ineffective at any stage in this matter.”

Bishop is serving life without parole at Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka.  She killed three people at UAH in 2010, and injured three others.  She pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, but still stood trial because capital murder pleas must include a trial under Alabama law.  A jury found her guilty.

Read the judge’s ruling.

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