Surprise! SCOTUS Protects the Intellectually Disabled From Death Penalty
On Tuesday, The Supreme Court condemned as unconstitutional a Florida law that weakened protections against sentencing intellectually disabled people to death. The law sought to limiting evidence of intellectual disability to a fixed number on an IQ test.
The Court’s ruling in Hall v. Florida was delivered by Justice Kennedy. Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagen joined in the ruling that struck down a law which attempted to “draw bright lines on IQ test results.”
Florida’s Supreme Court interpreted the law in question to mean that any death row inmate with an IQ above 70 is not intellectually disabled and “cannot present evidence that he or she should not be executed.”