The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a law used by Florida and other states that set a strict cut-off, based on IQ test scores, to determine eligibility for the death penalty.
In the wake of the court’s earlier ruling that the states may not execute the “mentally retarded,” Florida determined that the dividing line would be an IQ of 70.
The defendant in the case at the center of Tuesday’s ruling, a convicted murderer named Freddie Lee Hall, had an IQ of 71 — so the state said he could be put to death.
But the high court, in a 5-4 decision along ideological lines, said such a line is too rigid.
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: The downward spiral of American morality continues. At the end of conservatism’s “vision” lays a nation devoid of human compassion and institutional restraint. A country where doctrinal authoritarianism is arrogantly portrayed as liberty and freedom. A land where people live in fear of non-conformity. A time when death becomes the ultimate solution for suffering. An event in human history repeated over and over again.
UPDATE – 5/27/2014 – 19:25 PDT: The Secular Jurist apologizes for inaccurate and unprofessional commentary which does not reflect the true meaning of the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case. The decision makes it harder, not easier, for states to execute prisoners who are mentally retarded.