U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Florida IQ Cutoff for Capital Punishment - Hall v. Florida
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
"The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave intellectually disabled defendants greater protection from the death penalty, ruling in a case from Florida that states may not use a rigid IQ score of 70 as the cutoff for execution.
"Writing for a 5-4 court, Justice Anthony Kennedy said Florida’s practice disregarded modern medical standards, which consider an IQ score an imprecise measurement that shouldn’t be viewed in isolation when determining intellectual ability.
"Justice Kennedy said that when an IQ score falls within the “standard error of measurement,” the defendant should be entitled to present additional evidence at sentencing regarding his intellectual deficits.
"The defendant, Freddie Lee Hall, and an accomplice were convicted of kidnapping, beating, raping and murdering Karol Hurst, a pregnant, 21-year-old newlywed, and then killing a sheriff’s deputy, Lonnie Coburn, in 1978.
"The Florida Supreme Court upheld Mr. Hall’s death sentence because his IQ tested above 70."
Full story and link to decision below...