Court May Clarify Rule on Impairment, Death Penalty

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a Florida death penalty case, in which an inmate argued that his intellectual disability made him exempt from execution, could help answer a decade-old question in Texas and other states about how to establish whether an inmate is too severely impaired to be subject to the death penalty.

“This is the courts trying to play catch-up with where the mental health community is going,” said Shannon Edmonds, director of governmental affairs at the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.

The Supreme Court last month agreed to hear the case of Freddie L ...

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