Albert Holland was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the murder of a police officer. According to court documents Albert Holland had sexually assaulted a woman and was witnessed by a bystander who phoned the police. When Officer Scott Winters attempted to apprehend him Albert Holland would disarm the Officer and fatally shoot him. Albert Holland would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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The facts relevant for this appeal begin with the observation that Holland suffered a serious brain injury in October 1979, when another inmate in a federal prison knocked him unconscious. The beating left Holland with a slowly resolving concussion, facial fractures, and three weeks of post-traumatic amnesia. In the early 1980s, Holland was arrested and charged with robbery in Washington, D.C. Holland’s attorney described him as “clearly a homeless individual, and disheveled, and incoherent, and not able to interact with me in any way, shape, or meaningful form, at all.” “In the early meetings, ․ he would have nothing to say, but would rock in a chair with his hands folded. I remember, distinctly, that he would drool.” The United States prosecutor agreed with defense counsel that Holland was not legally culpable because he had been insane. The court found Holland was not guilty of the robbery by reason of insanity, based on testimony from a doctor that Holland suffered from a mental defect or disease that interfered totally with his ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or conform his behavior to the requirements of law. He was placed in Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, and he saw at least six doctors during his time there. At Saint Elizabeth’s, doctors first diagnosed him with “schizophrenia, undifferentiated type, and Organic Amnestic Syndrome,” which indicates a significant memory impairment. A second evaluation discontinued the Organic Amnestic Syndrome diagnosis but did not alter the schizophrenia diagnosis. Still, some of Holland’s doctors suggested that he suffered less from schizophrenia and more from “organic psychosis” tied to his brain injury. At Saint Elizabeth’s, Holland was treated with Thorazine, an antipsychotic, and Cogentin to deal with side effects. Holland escaped from Saint Elizabeth’s, and thereafter was charged with a new robbery. With the agreement of an attorney for the United States, a different judge found Holland not guilty by reason of insanity a second time and again sent him to Saint Elizabeth’s. He absconded from the hospital yet again in May 1986.
Four years later, after smoking a rock of crack cocaine, Holland attacked and brutally beat Thelma Johnson in Pompano Beach, Florida, on July 29, 1990. Holland ran off when a witness intervened, leaving the victim semi-conscious and with severe head injuries. Police searched for the assailant and K–9 patrol officer Scott Winters of the Pompano Beach Police Department found Holland. Witnesses saw the two struggling. Holland grabbed Winters’s gun and fatally shot him in the groin and lower stomach. See Holland v. State (Holland II), 773 So.2d 1065, 1068 (Fla.2000) (per curiam).
Holland was first tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1991. During that trial, Holland’s disruptive behavior led to his removal from the courtroom. On direct appeal, the Florida Supreme Court reversed his conviction because admission of testimony about a psychiatric examination of Holland violated his right to counsel and his right against self-incrimination. See Holland v. State (Holland I), 636 So.2d 1289 (1994) (per curiam).