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High court to look at death row inmate with low IQ

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This is from The Washington Examiner.

I say if you’re smart enough to kill your smart enough to die. 

They say a youth should not be executed.

Again I say you’re old enough to kill your old enough to kill.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eleven years after the Supreme Court barred states from executing mentally disabled inmates, the justices said Monday they will take up a Florida case over how authorities determine who is eligible to be put to death.

The outcome could answer a question left unresolved by the court’s 6-3 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, the 2002 case that spares the mentally disabled from the death penalty. The ruling essentially left it to states to decide whether an inmate is mentally disabled.

The case under review is an appeal of a Florida Supreme Court ruling that upheld the death sentence for Freddie Lee Hall, who scored just above the state’s cutoff for mental disability as measured by IQ tests.

Hall was sentenced to death for killing Karol Hurst, a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was abducted leaving a grocery store in 1978.

Florida law prohibits anyone with an IQ of 70 or higher from being classified as mentally disabled, regardless of other evidence to the contrary. Hall’s scores on three IQ tests ranged from 71 to 80.

Florida is one of nine death penalty states with a strict IQ limit, said Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente. The others are: Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

Pariente voted with the majority to uphold Hall’s sentence, but noted there is no national consensus on how to determine mental disability.

Hall’s case has bounced around the Florida courts for decades. In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court threw out Hall’s original death penalty and ordered a new sentencing hearing. A judge then resentenced Hall to death, but declared he was mentally disabled. That took place before the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said executing a mentally disabled inmate violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and before Florida passed a law setting the IQ limit.

When Hall later filed another appeal, the same judge ruled he was not mentally disabled because his scores on IQ tests topped 70.

Hall has been in prison more than 35 years, almost all of it under a death sentence. He and another man, Mack Ruffin, were prosecuted for forcing Hurst to drive from a Pantry Pride parking lot in central Florida’s Leesburg to a wooded area, where she was sexually assaulted and shot to death. The pair also were convicted of killing a sheriff’s deputy. Ruffin also initially was sentenced to death, but his penalty later was changed to life in prison.

The case will be argued early next year.

The case is Hall v. Florida, 12-10882.

 

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Jeffco ‘Democrat Of The Year’ Convicted Of Felony Theft

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This is from CBS 4 Denver.

Are you surprised by a DemocRat stealing?

What this woman is doing is as low life as can be.

Stealing is bad enough but stealing from the elderly low life.

Then to make it worse the victim is developmentally disabled

Estelle Carson (credit: CBS)JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4 The woman named “Democrat of The Year” this year by the Jefferson County Democratic Party has been convicted of felony theft by a Jefferson County jury for stealing from a developmentally disabled 71-year-old woman.

“The jury did right,” said Cindy Maxwell, an advocate for the victim.

On Thursday, a jury convicted 66-year-old Estelle Carson of felony identify theft and felony theft from an at risk adult for stealing checks from the woman and using them to pay her own cable, cell phone and internet bills.

The victim is partially blind, developmentally disabled, has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. She is on a fixed income of $596 per month according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

Nearly as bothersome as the theft itself to Maxwell and other supporters of the victim, is the fact the Jefferson County Democratic Party was made aware of the ongoing criminal investigation and honored Carson anyway.

According to documents obtained by CBS4, in November of 2011, the Jeffco Democratic Party announced it planned to honor Carson for her activism on behalf of Democratic causes and her efforts to register voters.

But three days before the January 8 gala, advocates for the victim contacted the party via email and phone informing them of the criminal investigation.

One wrote “I am completely appalled,” to learn of the planned honor. The woman suggested the Democratic Party should “un-invite Estelle and not follow through with this honor.”

Cindy Maxwell told CBS4 she informed Democratic Party officials that Carson had already confessed to the theft as part of the investigation.

But Chris Kennedy, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic party, dismissed the concerns saying there was not a conviction and bestowed the “Democrat Of The Year” honor on Carson.

In an email following the event, Kennedy wrote, “After much consideration, my decision was that the award being presented by my organization and the alleged financial exploitation need to be compartmentalized, one having no bearing on the other. Thus I decided to present the award to Estelle.”

“I thought it was outrageous,” said Maxwell, “I was appalled.”

Kennedy reiterated to CBS4 that he went ahead with the award because Carson had only been accused, not convicted.

“I did not have reason to believe it was true,” said Kennedy.

Now that Carson has been convicted, Cindy Maxwell is asking the Jefferson County Democratic Party to rescind the honor.

“I’d like to see her stripped of that award. I have been a Democrat my entire life. I’m disappointed they would allow something like that to happen,” said Maxwell.

CBS4 called Estelle Carson but her voicemail message said her mailbox was full. She is due in court in December for sentencing. She faces a maximum of nine years in prison for the two felony charges.

 

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