WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed likely Tuesday to side with a longtime death row inmate in Texas who claims he is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible to be executed.
A majority of justices during arguments at the high court expressed misgivings with the way the top Texas criminal appeals court evaluates borderline cases of intellectual disability.
That court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, reversed a lower court and ruled that inmate Bobby James Moore was not intellectually disabled. Moore was convicted in the shotgun killing of a Houston grocery store clerk in 1980.
The Supreme Court held in 2002 that people convicted of murder who are intellectually disabled cannot be executed. The court gave states some discretion to decide how to determine intellectual disability. The justices have wrestled in several more recent cases about how much discretion to allow.
The Texas court’s approach, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, opens “the door to inconsistent results, depending on who is sitting on the trial court bench, something we try to prevent from happening in capital cases.” The court’s three other liberal justices and Justice Anthony Kennedy, voiced similar concerns.
Two years ago, Kennedy and the four liberal justices formed a majority when the court …read more
Source:: Black America Web