SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS TEXAS DEATH PENALTY CASE

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Bobby James Moore is a convicted murderer who was able to convince the Supreme Court yesterday that he was “intellectually disabled” when he committed his crimes.

Moore was sentenced to death for the 1980 shooting of a Houston store clerk in a bungled robbery with two other men.

In 2014, a state district judge recommended that Moore’s death sentence be overturned, finding that he was intellectually disabled because he had an IQ under 71, had failed first grade twice and had failed every subsequent grade but had been socially promoted until he dropped out as a high school freshman.

The Court of Criminal Appeals, however, rejected Moore’s claim, saying the lower court used the wrong measures of intellectual disability.

The Supreme Court’s ruling stated that by ignoring advances in science, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals created “an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed.”

Writing in dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts agreed that the Texas court erred by using unacceptable standards to weigh Moore’s adaptive behavior — one factor in measuring intellectual disability. But Roberts added that he would have affirmed the Texas court’s ruling that Moore was eligible for execution based on his level of intellectual functioning.

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