That's the title of commentary by attorney Ian Smith at the Daily Caller. Here's the beginning of this must-read:
Although the case of Hernandez v. Stephens was one of thousands denied review by the Supreme Court this past term, that it received next to no attention by media outlets is still deeply puzzling.
The case involved a Mexican-born illegal immigrant named Ramiro Hernandez who was convicted in a Texas court in 2000 for the murder of his employer and the rape of his employer’s wife. After given the death penalty, he appealed on the grounds that he was mentally retarded. Hernandez’s lawyers argued that because IQ tests taken prior to trial showed his to be a mere 62, within the standard definition of mental retardation, his execution would be unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishment.”
This so-called “Atkins claim” by the defense, named after the 2002 case of Atkins v. Virginia, was rejected by the Fifth Circuit. They accepted the prosecution’s rather astonishing argument that although Hernandez’s IQ was low compared to “American norms,” when “scaled to Mexican norms” it should be adjusted upward. When assessed according to his “cultural group”, they argued, his results should be closer to 70, a level just outside the definition of mental retardation.
As a result, this past April Mr. Hernandez was executed. For this “race-based” approach to IQ, claim attorneys filing a brief on Mr. Hernandez’s behalf, the court violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
More on Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court's 2002 ruling banning the execution of those with mental retardation - now referred to as Intellectual Disability - is via Oyez.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has applied its Briseno standards in judging Intellectual Disability claims in Texas, rather than clinical medical standards enumerated in Atkins. Time will tell what impact the Supreme Court's latest ruling on Intellectual Disability, Hall v. Florida, has on Texas cases.