http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/us/ju … tml?ref=us
This is an article reporting on a future Supreme Court decision on how low a person's IQ can be before the individual is eligible for the death penalty. Right now, the standard is around 70, but states have some discretion.
I want to highlight this:
Justice Stephen G. Breyer suggested that the court could require an expert to explain statistics to the judge or jury deciding whether the inmate had an intellectual disability. “What is so terrible about doing it?” he asked.
Mr. Winsor responded that “what is so terrible about doing it is you would end up increasing the number of people who would be eligible for a mental retardation finding.”
According to the Times, Allen Winsor is the solicitor general for the state of Florida, and his problem with increasing the IQ requirement for the death penalty is that "you would end up increasing the number of people who would be eligible for a mental retardation finding." My emphasis.
Why is this a problem? If people are mentally retarded (in the clinical sense), then knowing that and improving our measures of it would be something we should all support! Justice Breyer argues that the jury should hear from someone who knows how to interpret an IQ test, so the jury can completely understand what a mental retardation diagnosis means. But Mr. Winsor is more concerned with getting convictions and looking "tough on crime," rather than ensuring true justice is served.
Stories like this increase my cynicism.
Of course, this article sidesteps the tricky issues about the validity of IQ tests in general and whether state psychologists can be trusted to deliver an accurate diagnosis.
See, the thing is MR/DD doesn't mean that someone can't tell right from wrong-which is essentially what the law is looking at for diminished capacity. It's not diminished capacity for intelligence, it's diminished capacity for intent.
That's something that should be decided on an individual basis.
Am I understanding this correctly? They ask guys on death row to right a test that if they fail they can't kill them? How many do you think will fail?
I tend to agree with you max, I have served on a jury a number of times (in the UK) and although I wouldn't count myself as intellectually superior I have come across other jury members who could be considered as down right dumb. One even being influenced by what their horoscope had said on that day.
The question is how far should you go to vet a jury?
I have been notified of serving on jury duty which I have responded to with refusals. I have cited in my answer that I believe the current criminal justice system is corrupted by money by those who receive better representation based their ability to hire the best lawyers and staff. I also state that I have a complete distrust of the evidence collection by authorities as well as the expert for hire defenses that the very wealthy defendants enjoy as a matter of their station. I also protest the death penalty as a means to deter crime. It never has deterred criminal behavior and innocent lives grouped in with the criminals are lost to inadequate defense by those who are less than experienced.
by ledefensetech7 years ago
What the hell is going on these days?http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091026/ap_ … BsZWFkc2c-
by weholdthesetruths6 years ago
In another thread, someone accused me of being inconsistent, with my commentary about rights being inherent to the individual, not provided by, enumerated by, or dependent upon government or legislation. ...
by DON BALDERAS6 years ago
Was justice served with the lethal killing of the three Filipinos in China?
by Cat R5 years ago
Supporters say that some crimes deserve the Death Penalty and that we are spending too much money to keep prisoners comfortable in prisons. That there are too many people that don't have cable, a home, free education...
by Don W5 years ago
In jurisdictions that maintain capital punishment are the rates of aggravated murder and felony murder lower than in jurisdictions where capital punishment has been banned?
by cathylynn995 years ago
i disagree with the death penalty for several reasons.it's not a deterrant. in one study, murder rates actually rose after an execution. it was as if the stae were saying, "it's okay to kill. we do."there but...
Copyright © 2017 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.