A Tennessee federal judge, recommended by Vice President Al Gore,
yesterday lifted the stay of execution for convicted child killer Robert
In a 42-page opinion U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger ruled
that the Tennessee Supreme Court and a trial judge gave Coe a "full and
fair hearing" in determining whether he's mentally competent to be
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The sentence review received national attention yesterday in
Trauger addressed 73 different claims made by the defense and
dismissed them all. Coe's attorneys could appeal the decision to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the court that asked
Trauger to review the case.
The Tennessee Supreme Court must now set a new date for the execution
of Coe, convicted of murdering 8-year-old Cary Ann Medlin in 1979.
Tennessee has not executed anyone on death row since 1960.
Coe fatally stabbed his 8-year-old victim, Cary Ann Medlin, when,
after she had been kidnapped, raped and sodomized, she told her
assailant: "Jesus loves you."