The Supreme Court today ruled that Florida must provide Freddie Lee Hall, who scored 71 on an IQ test, a chance to prove that he is intellectually disabled and should not be executed. Florida’s law that only those who score 70 or below on the test may challenge their executions violates “our nation’s commitment to dignity and its duty to teach human decency as the mark of a civilized world,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for a 5 to 4 majority. Dissenter Samuel Alito said the ruling took a “most unwise turn” because it was “based largely on the positions adopted by private professional associations.”
In another case decided today, the court ruled that West Memphis, Ar., police officers did not use excessive force when they fired 15 shots at a man during a high-speed chase. The man and his passenger died of gunshot wounds and injuries suffered when the car crashed. The court said the man’s “outrageously reckless driving” at more than 100 miles per hour justified many shots fired to end the risk to the public when the vehicle came to a temporary halt.