Tuesday, November 16, 2004

LaRoyce Lathair Smith

The United States Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence of LaRoyce Smith of Texas. In a per curiam (unsigned) opinion joined by seven of the justices, the Court held that the jury should have been allowed to hear evidence regarding Smith's IQ scores and his history of participation in special education programs. The Court wrote that a jury may have used this evidence as a reason to give Smith a more lenient sentence than death.

Supreme Court throws out Texas death sentence

1 comment:

Des26 said...

The jury did hear evidence to the first Smith trial. The problem was that special issue questions from the Texas Court did not allow the jury enough ability to take into account mitigating circumstances. And it can even be said that the IQ test score could actually be an aggravating circumstance as the second special issue question, dealing with being a future danger, could clearly be answered yes, because of the low IQ.