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Should mentally disabled be executed? Rick Scott won't say after Supreme Court ruling


The U.S. Supreme Court blocked Florida from executing a mentally disabled man, ruling Tuesday that the state's method of assessing intellectual ability wasn't constitutional.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court said that Florida and a handful of other states cannot rely solely on an IQ score above 70 to bar an inmate from claiming mental disability. 

Gov. Rick Scott wouldn't comment on the case, saying he hadn't read the ruling, which blocks the execution of Freddie Lee Hall, who was sentenced to death in 1978 for his role in in the kidnap, rape and murder of a pregnant woman as he stole her car in a grocery-store robbery that also led to the killing of a Hernando County sheriff's deputy.

"Capital punishment is something that’s a solemn duty that I have and I take it very seriously," Scott said. "But I’ll review that case when I see it.”

Asked more broadly, about why the state executes mentally ill people in general, Scott again referred to Hall's specific case.

"“I’ll review that case and see," Scott said.

Asked about the general principle of executing the mentally disabled, Scott said "yeah, I’ll review that case.”