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Blackman Responds to Supreme Court on Executions

Leonard Blackman, professor emeritus of education and psychology, was recently quoted regarding his stance on the execution of the retarded. In response to the Supreme Court's June 2002 ruling that such punishment is unconstitutional for this group, Blackman argues that it is not the global definition of retardation that should set the standard for determining culpability, but rather, the extent to which an individual suffers deficiencies such as understanding cause and effect. Such variations exist in differing degrees among persons, ''So it is not enough to argue that a person with mental retardation automatically lacks the skills and abilities required for culpability for a capital offense without first knowing what skills and abilities the crime summons.''

The article, entitled "The Executioner's I.Q. Test" appeared in the June 29 edition of the The New York Times.

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