The Law of the Land – Not Just the I.Q. Score

The Law of the Land – Not Just the I.Q. Score

The United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a cutoff of a 70 IQ to determine mental retardation is unconstitutional.

The standard of error is +- 5, and the decision to execute Mr. Freddie Lee Hall who has an I.Q. of 70 (see my previous blog post on the Freddie Lee Hall Case) should have required the court to determine if additional factors which may elucidate his disability should have been considered before ruling out whether he does or does not have an intellectual disability (or is not mentally retarded).   If a scientific test is used then its standard of error must be considered.

This is an incredible step forward in the rights of people with disabilities. I’m happily surprised.

Read the Full Opinion


Iris Eytan is a Partner at Reilly Pozner LLP. She practices Criminal Defense with an emphasis in mental health defenses.