by Max Brantley
This is the second time in as many years that the Supreme Court has reversed the Alabama state courts because their determination of when a person's intellectual disability should preclude them from being executed failed to meet constitutional standards.It said of the Carroll case:
In Mr. Carroll's case, the state court imposed a strict IQ cutoff of 70, concluding that Mr. Carroll is not shielded from the death penalty because he has an IQ score of 71. Like in Moore, the state courts refused to apply modern medical standards, including the five-point standard error of measurement and the Flynn effect, that place Mr. Carroll's IQ score squarely within the range of intellectual disability.
The Alabama courts also mirrored the errors committed by the Texas courts in Moore by focusing only on Mr. Carroll's perceived "adaptive strengths" without recognizing that current medical protocols require an evaluation of adaptive deficits.