Death penalty, the mentally disabled at issue for justices

Posted at 10:50 AM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 10:50:14-05

HOUSTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is set to examine whether the nation's busiest state for capital punishment is trying to put to death a convicted killer who's intellectually disabled. That would make him ineligible for execution under the court's current guidance.

Lawyers for 57-year-old prisoner Bobby James Moore contend that Texas' highest criminal court ignored current medical standards and used outdated standards when it decided Moore isn't mentally disabled.

The state attorney general's office says Texas "fully complies" with Supreme Court precedents.

The Supreme Court in 2002 ruled that people who are mentally disabled may not be executed.

Arguments in Moore's case are set for Tuesday.

Moore's lawyers want his death sentence set aside. He was convicted of fatally shooting a Houston grocery clerk during a 1980 robbery.