The supreme court is hearing an appeal from Florida Death Row inmate, Freddie Lee Hall, who is saying he is mentally disabled and therefore should not be executed. Until now the court has let the states set rules for judging who is mentally disabled. In Florida and certain other states an IQ score higher than a 70 means that an inmate is not considered mentally disabled, even if evidence indicates otherwise.
Unfortunately for Hall, he has been scoring above 70 on most IQ tests he has taken since 1968. But Hall believes other evidence shows that he is in fact mentally disabled. During an early stage in the case a judge had ruled that Hall had been mentally retarded his whole life. Medical professionals that have examined Hall say he too is mentally disabled.
Hall has been incarcerated for the past 35 years on multiple accounts. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that an inmate who tests above a 70 cannot lever an execution based on mental disability. The psychiatrists and psychologists who are supporting Hall say that an IQ test cannot stand alone to fully diagnose someone’s mental disability. These professionals believe that individuals must also be evaluated among the lines of the ability of the individual to function in society as well as stemming the mental disability back to childhood.
Check out the full story on Hall’s court appeal here.