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Supreme Court Further Limits Executions

This article is more than 8 years old.

In a 5-4 ruling today, the United States Supreme Court said that Florida's standards for the execution of the mentally disabled are unconstitutional.

It is unconstitutional to execute the mentally disabled, but states have the right to set their own standards on mental capacity. Florida's courts had ruled that an inmate had to have an IQ below 70 before any evidence about intellectual capability could be introduced.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Florida law is too rigid, goes against established medical practice and violates the constitution.

In a separate case, the justices ruled unanimously today for Secret Service agents who had separated protesters from supporters at a presidential rally for George W. Bush. The justices said the agents were not violating protesters rights and were entitled to immunity from prosecution.

Slate's Emily Bazelon joins Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson to discuss both rulings.


  • Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. She tweets @emilybazelon.

This segment aired on May 27, 2014.


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