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High court skeptical of IQ scores in deciding execution

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Source: AP Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court seems likely to say that states can't rely on intelligence test scores alone in borderline cases to determine that a death row inmate is mentally able and thus eligible to be executed.

The justices heard arguments on a snowy Monday in a challenge from a Florida inmate who says there is ample evidence to show he is mentally disabled, even though his most of IQ scores have topped 70.

That score is the widely accepted as a marker of mental disability, but medical professionals say that test results have a margin of error and in any case are just one factor in determining mental disability.

The decisive vote appears to belong to Justice Anthony Kennedy and he repeatedly questioned the state's argument for a rigid cutoff.

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