Crime

Death Row inmate gains access to psychologist

Alan Dale Walker
Alan Dale Walker

HARRISON COUNTY -- The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled Death Row inmate Alan Dale Walker has a right to be visited by a neuropsychologist in preparation for a post-conviction evidentiary hearing.

A 5-4 decision handed down Thursday said Dr. Robert Shaffer should not be denied access to Walker, who has been on Death Row since he received the death penalty Aug. 12, 1991.

Walker, 50, was convicted in the Sept. 8, 1990, kidnapping, rape and drowning of Konya Rebecca Edwards, 19, at Crystal Lake in Harrison County. Walker was prosecuted in Warren County.

Walker had asked that the doctor be allowed to visit him in preparation for a hearing.

Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Chris Schmidt denied the request Nov. 4, 2015, with no finding that allowing the doctor access would violate rules and regulations of the state prison system, the order said.

Death Row inmates should have access to their experts as long as it violates no rules or regulations and doesn't violate an inmate's due-process rights, said Associate Justice James W. Kitchens, writing for the court.

Walker has filed several appeals, to include claiming his legal representation was inadequate and wanting a new sentencing hearing.

The costs of the latest appeal will be billed to Harrison County.

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