Lawyers have launched an appeal to the United States Supreme Court to overturn the death sentence for a Colombian citizen who, according to his family, is mentally disabled — local media reported on Tuesday.

The family of Abelardo Arboleda — born the west Colombian city of Buenaventura and sentenced to death in 2002 by a US court — say they have appealed to the municipality Ombudsman after not being able to contact him for over a year, El Pais newspaper reported.

The father of the accused maintains that his son is innocent of the crime and says that the sentence handed down by the court is unconstitutional as he has a mental disability.

“What we know up until this moment is that the lawyers have presented the appeal, however, a date has not been set for his appeal to see if the sentence can be changed,” Emiliano Arboleda, the father of the convict, told local station Blu Radio on Tuesday.

“He was there because he could not find work in Colombia. He was there (the US) working honestly and some friends committed a crime and implicated him in the process,” he said.

While the decision on the case is still unknown, the Buenaventura Ombudsman — with assistance by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs — confirmed that the appeal has been filed  and is currently being revised by the US Supreme Court, El Espectador newspaper reported.



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