(The Independent) ‘Retarded’ killer faces return to death row after raising IQ
A prisoner, who won a landmark case in which the US Supreme Court ruled that mentally retarded prisoners could not be executed, could find himself back on death row because his IQ has improved as a result of working on his defence.
In an extraordinary reversal of fortune, Daryl Atkins will return to court later this year where a jury will decide whether he is officially retarded. If the court decides he is not, Atkins, 27, could be executed by lethal injection in effect, because of the work he did that resulted in other mentally retarded prisoners being spared.
Atkins’ IQ was first tested in 1998 and was found to stand at 59. But when it was tested more recently, he scored 76. In Virginia, the level at which the state differentiates between someone who is retarded and someone who is not is 70.