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Inmate IQ scores: Supreme Court to look beyond death row test results

Inmate IQ scores should not be used to determine mental disability for death row prisoners. The Supreme Court has a majority of five justices voicing their skepticism. According to ABC News on Mar. 3, Florida is one of a handful of states that can prevent an inmate from claiming to be mentally disabled if their IQ score is above 70.

Inmate IQ scores: Supreme Court to look beyond death row test results.
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Five justices, enough to form a majority, pointed repeatedly to the margin of error inherent in IQ and other standardized tests.

Inmate IQ scores are being scrutinized in the case of Freddie Lee Hall. He is an inmate on death row in Florida. Hall's lawyers claim that his IQ score, which is just above 70, indicated that the is mentally disabled. This disability would bar him from execution.

Some medical professionals feel that inmate IQ scores as high as 75 can still indicate mental disability. Court justices said that other should be considered before making this determination.

Hall has been on death row for 35 years. Although medical professionals say he is mentally disabled, an IQ test is not enough to substantiate this. The high court is looking at how states determine mental disability of inmates 10 years after barring the execution of the mentally disabled.

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