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High court looks at death row inmate with low IQ

Monday - 3/3/2014, 3:35am  ET

MARK SHERMAN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is hearing an appeal from a Florida death row inmate who claims he is protected from execution because he is mentally disabled.

The case being argued at the court Monday centers on how authorities determine who is eligible to be put to death. It comes 12 years after the justices prohibited the execution of the mentally disabled.

The court has let states set rules for judging who is mentally disabled. In Florida and certain other states, an intelligence test score higher than 70 means an inmate is not mentally disabled, even if other evidence indicates he is.

Inmate Freddie Lee Hall has scored above 70 on most of the IQ tests he has taken since 1968 but says ample evidence shows he is mentally disabled.


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