January 29, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-266, media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – Robert Ladd, an intellectually disabled person with an IQ of 67, was executed tonight at 7:02 CT in Huntsville, Texas. His death violates the Supreme Court's rulings that the Eighth Amendment prohibits executing the intellectually disabled as cruel and unusual punishment. In any other state Mr. Ladd would be considered ineligible for the death penalty because of his intellectual disability.

Brian Stull, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project and Mr. Ladd's attorney, had this comment:

"Texas aggressively pursued Mr. Ladd's execution, despite the fact that our constitution categorically prohibits the use of capital punishment against persons with intellectual disability. Mr. Ladd, whose IQ was 67, was executed because Texas uses idiosyncratic standards, based on stereotypes rather than science, to determine intellectual disability. His death is yet another example of how capital punishment routinely defies the rule of law and human decency. 

"We are eager for a court to address the fact that Texas' unscientific standards can't be reconciled with the Supreme Court's decision in Hall v. Florida,mandating that states must use universal medical diagnostic practices rather than inaccurate and self-invented methods for determining intellectual disability. However, no future ruling can undo the unconscionable fact that tonight Texas ended the life of an intellectually disabled man who deserved the protection of the Constitution."

For more information about the case Ex Parte Ladd, visit: https://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment/ex-parte-ladd

For information about the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, visit: https://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment

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