High court looks at death row inmate with low IQ

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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.

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