The Supreme Court seems likely to side with a longtime death row inmate in Texas who claims he is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible to be executed.
A majority of justices during arguments Tuesday expressed misgivings with the way the top Texas criminal appeals court evaluates borderline cases of intellectual disability.
That court reversed a lower court and ruled that inmate Bobby James Moore was not intellectually disabled. Moore was convicted in the shotgun killing of a Houston grocery store clerk in 1980.
The Supreme Court held in 2002 that people convicted of murder who are intellectually disabled cannot be executed. The court gave states some discretion to decide how to determine intellectual disability. The justices have wrestled in several more recent cases about how much discretion to allow.