Published on May 28, 2014 | by LawNews
Prof. Eric Freedman Comments in New York Times Story on Supreme Court Ruling in Florida Death Penalty Case
Court Extends Curbs on the Death Penalty in a Florida Ruling
By Adam Liptak
The New York Times
May 27, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday continued a trend to limit capital punishment, ruling that Florida’s I.Q. score cutoff was too rigid to decide which mentally disabled individuals must be spared the death penalty. …
The ruling will affect not only Florida, which has the nation’s second-largest death row after California, but also as many as eight other states by Justice Kennedy’s count, including Alabama and Virginia. They will now be required to take a less mechanical approach to mental disability in capital cases, said Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra.
“Death row inmates commonly suffer from multidimensional mental problems,” Mr. Freedman said. “Today’s ruling requires courts to investigate these fully, by looking at the elephant rather than the tail.”
A version of this article appears in print on May 28, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Justices Reject a Rigid I.Q. Rule for Executions.