The last time I wrote about John Couey was March of this year, after he’d been found guilty of the rape and ghastly mur­der of nine-​​year-​​old Jessica Lunsford. The ques­tion at the time was whether he was men­tally capa­ble of under­stand­ing the mag­ni­tude of his crimes; if he was, in short, men­tally retarded and there­fore unsuit­able for killing.

The rul­ing today is that he is, indeed, eli­gi­ble to face the death penalty.

Circuit Judge Ric Howard in Citrus County ruled that the most cred­i­ble intel­li­gence exam rated Couey’s IQ at 78, slightly above the 70 level gen­er­ally con­sid­ered retarded, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

This isn’t a cause for cel­e­bra­tion. Killing Couey will not res­ur­rect his vic­tim. But as I com­mented before, given the absolutely hor­ren­dous nature of his crime, I don’t believe there is any pur­pose in keep­ing this man alive.


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