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Kentucky high court rules inmate can be executed despite mental age questions

[JURIST] The Kentucky Supreme Court [official website] ruled Thursday that, despite a 2005 US Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report; opinion PDF] barring the death penalty for juveniles, the mental age of a death row inmate could not be invoked to stop the state from carrying out his execution. Though the Kentucky court acknowledged the top court's decision, it said that that plainly established chronological age rather than mental age as the benchmark to determine who can be subjected to capital punishment.

Attorneys for defendant Thomas Clyde Bowling [IJP profile] had claimed that the 53-year-old Bowling, whose IQ scores are well below average, had a mental age of 11 when he murdered two people in Lexington more than 15 years ago. Bowling's attorneys said they will seek a rehearing within the court's 20-day time limit. AP has more.

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