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High court looks at death row inmate with low IQ

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Posted: Mar 2, 2014 5:25 AM

Updated: Mar 2, 2014 5:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court in 2002 barred the execution of mentally disabled inmates.

But until now, the court has left it up to the states to determine who is mentally disabled.

A new case is testing whether states can rely solely on the result of an intelligence test to conclude a death row inmate isn't mentally disabled and therefore eligible to be executed despite other evidence of mental deficits.

In arguments Monday, a Florida inmate is challenging that state's use of a rigid IQ cutoff to determine mental disability.

Florida is among the few states that use a threshold score of 70, as measured by IQ tests, to conclude an inmate is not mentally disabled, even if other evidence indicates he is.

Topics: Supreme Court-Mental Disability

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