July 21, 2002
So where's the flood?

Despite dire warnings about a "flood" of death row inmates demanding IQ tests, since the Supreme Court halted executions of the mentally retarded exactly one death row inmate out of over 450 in Texas has petitioned to have his sentence reevaluated.

The last paragraph of this story is interesting:

Texas is one of 20 states that, until the Supreme Court decision, allowed execution of the mentally retarded. The Death Penalty Information Center claims Texas has executed at least six mentally retarded inmates since 1982, a number disputed by death penalty proponents.

Six in twenty years isn't a lot. Does this mean Texas will see a few credible claims filed, or a lot of spurious ones? This article from before the ruling suggests that 10 to 20 percent of existing inmates would file appeals if the ban were to be enacted. Either that estimate is too high, or it's too early to tell. Maybe we'll get a steady flow instead of a flood. If there is to be a flood, it ain't happened yet.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 21, 2002 to The great state of Texas

I think there should be a national IQ standard so Texas doesn't use the local baseline as a prtext for declaring defendants normal.

Posted by: zizka on July 21, 2002 11:18 PM