Texas Executes Man With IQ of 67

The Supreme Court has banned the execution of the mentally disabled. Robert Ladd has an IQ of 67. Texas killed him tonight anyway. He died 27 minutes after being injected with lethal drugs. He said they stung.

Under Texas’s unique – and widely ridiculed – definition of intellectual disability, he was deemed capable of being executed because he did not match the degree of mental impairment depicted in a character in a John Steinbeck novel.

Ladd is the second mentally disabled inmate to be killed in the U.S. this week. Georgia killed Warren Hill

All seven medical experts who saw him – including three appointed by the state itself – concluded that he was mentally impaired by a “preponderance of the evidence”.

Georgia, however, was not satisfied by that unanimous body of opinion, and required Hill to prove he was disabled “beyond a reasonable doubt” – a standard no other state in the union requires and which experts say is almost impossible to match.

His lawyer said:

“The memory of Mr Hill’s illegal execution will live on as a moral stain on the people of this state and on the courts that allowed this to happen.”

The ACLU, which represented Ladd, has more on his case is here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    why did appeal fail, then? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by thomas rogan on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 03:43:40 PM EST
    If this inmate is indeed intellectually disabled to the point where he does not comprehend the death penalty, then how was he
    1.  Deemed able to aid in his defense during the trial?
    2.  Deemed to have intent and to be convicted of a crime?

    It seems as if appeals should have addressed the above two points.  

    You would think (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 06:46:59 PM EST
    wouldnt you.

    Lennie? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 01, 2015 at 04:42:29 PM EST
    He didn't match the "mental impairment" of Steinbeck's Lennie???
    I'm a retired special education teacher, and I worked with the developmentally disabled.  They are not all like Lennie.  And, in a whole lot of ways, Lennie was a caricature, anyway.
    Robert Ladd had an IQ more than two standard deviations below the mean.  So did a lot of my former students.  And they were all different, and behaved differently.  I even taught some of them to do some simple reading, about on, at the most, a 1st or 2nd grade level (not that it meant that they understood everything they read).  A couple of them, even above this.
    But the one thing they had in common was that they did not, and could not, plan ahead and comprehend the ultimate consequences of their actions.  Nor could any of them have given any meaningful help to a defense lawyer in their own defense if they had had to do so.
    I am not saying that Ladd should necessarily have been let
    loose on society, because he has shown that he cannot safely be allowed to do so.  But he could have spent the remainder if his life in a carefully monitored, therapeutic environment, with safeguards that would have prevented him from harming or killing anyone else.

    This is one of the reasons why I don't support (none / 0) (#1)
    by McBain on Thu Jan 29, 2015 at 11:19:11 PM EST
    the death penalty. I don't know the facts of this case but it reminds me of a good documentary about a wrongfully convicted and executed retarded boy called "The Last Word".  

    People sleep better an night knowing their DA, judge, jury and everyone else is tough on crime.  The problem is being "tough on crime" often means over prosecuting.  When someone being over prosecuted doesn't have the money to hire a decent lawyer our system really sucks.

    The US Supreme Court has indeed (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 11:09:18 AM EST
    banned the execution of the mentally disabled, however it also said you cannot rely solely on IQ to define intellectually capacity.

    iow, although the number 67 makes a striking headline, it is only one part of an assessment of whether an individual is intellectually disabled or not.

    "only one part ?" (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 01:19:43 AM EST
    Sort of like being a double amputee is "only one part" of why he didn't score highly in the 26 mile marathon.

    I know, right? Weird that the Supremes, (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 11:43:35 AM EST
    with all their smarts and resources, can't seem to see things as simply as you.