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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