Moore v. Texas

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: June 6, 2016
  • Case #: 15-797
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether it is a violation of the Eighth Amendment to use outdated State approved medical standards in determining whether a person is intellectually disabled for death penalty purposes, instead of using current medical standards.

Petitioner was convicted of capital murder and received the death penalty for shooting and killing a grocery clerk while robbing the store. After Petitioner’s conviction and sentence were affirmed a habeas judge subsequently granted relief on the grounds that Petitioner was exempt from the death penalty because Petitioner is intellectually disabled, using the definition of intellectual disability set forth by the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities (AAIDD). The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) reversed, holding that the habeas judge used the improper definition of intellectual disability, whereas the standard definition adopted and used by the State of Texas. Petitioner argues that it is a violation of the Eighth Amendment to disallow the use of current medical standards regarding intellectual disability and instead require the use of outdated standards adopted by the State.

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