UPDATE: Judge denies Lee Hall’s request for delay; execution to proceed Dec. 5
UPDATE: Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole announced Tuesday morning that he is denying Lee Hall’s request for post-conviction relief. Hall was convicted in the April 1991 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Traci Crozier. He is set to be executed on December 5, 2019.
In explaining his decision, Judge Poole said "The petitioner’s second post-conviction petition is barred by Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-102(c), which limits a petitioner to one post-conviction petition.” He further stated that "This court concludes the Petitioner has failed to establish Juror A was prejudiced against him at the time of the trial.”
In his summation, Judge Poole said that any expansion of a post-conviction petitioner’s due process must be granted by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
PREVIOUS STORY: In just a few days, a Hamilton County judge’s opinion will determine whether a convicted killer lives or dies.
Time is of the essence for Leroy Hall Jr. who is less than a month away from taking his seat in the electric chair for the 1991 murder of his ex-girlfriend Traci Crozier.
Attorneys representing Hall argued before Judge Don Poole on Thursday that the man found guilty of murdering Crozier didn’t receive a fair trial in 1992.
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Crozier’s family members were present in court as the defense made their argument.
“Lee Hall is set for execution 7:00 pm, three weeks from today. He has raised a serious constitutional error,” Assistant Post Conviction Defender Kelly Gleason said during closing arguments.
It’s a day that has been nearly 30 years in the making for Crozier’s family.
“We’ve gotta be her voice...there’s nobody else,” the victim’s father Gene Crozier told Channel 3.
But it may never come if a Hamilton County Judge Don Poole rules that Hall didn’t receive a fair trial.
Hall’s defense made the argument after one of the jurors in the case revealed she was a survivor of domestic violence prior to the 1992 trial.
“If we had had extra time we could have contextualized juror A’s life experiences and the reason she did and did not disclose certain things,” Gleason said.
Proceedings for Thursday’s hearing were centered around whether investigators with the Office of Post Conviction Defenders made enough effort to contact the woman known as ‘Juror A’.
But ultimately Poole’s opinion will determine Hall’s fate and whether Hall will live to see 2020 as he’s scheduled to be executed on December 5th.