Death penalty, the men­tally dis­abled at is­sue for jus­tices

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

HOUSTON >> The U.S. Supreme Court is set to ex­am­ine whether the na­tion’s busiest state for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment is try­ing to put to death a con­victed killer who’s in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­abled, which would make him in­el­i­gi­ble for ex­e­cu­tion un­der the court’s cur­rent guid­ance.

Lawyers for pris­oner Bobby James Moore, 57, con­tend that the state’s high­est crim­i­nal court, the Texas Court of Crim­i­nal Ap­peals, ig­nored cur­rent med­i­cal stan­dards and re­quired use of out­dated stan­dards when it de­cided Moore isn’t men­tally dis­abled. That rul­ing re­moved a le­gal hur­dle to Moore’s ex­e­cu­tion for the shot­gun slay­ing of a Houston gro­cery store clerk in 1980.

The Texas court is a “con­spic­u­ous out­lier” among state courts and “defies both the Con­sti­tu­tion and com­mon sense,” Clifford Sloan, Moore’s lead lawyer, told the jus­tices in writ­ten briefs sub­mit­ted ahead of Tues­day’s sched­uled oral ar­gu­ments.

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