Federal Court Rejects Texas Death Row Inmate’s Appeal

HOUSTON (November 21, 2012)—The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a Texas death row inmate's claims that he's mentally impaired and ineligible for execution.

The court earlier ordered another look the IQ scores of convicted killer Rickey Lynn Lewis, but the trial court, a federal district court and the 5th Circuit, in a ruling late Tuesday, agreed the inmate's intellectual functioning is not "sub-average."

Courts generally have agreed an IQ of 70 is the threshold for mental impairment.

Test results on Lewis ranged from 59 to 79, although his attorneys contend the higher scores are invalid.

Lewis, 50, has been on death row since 1994, four years after George Ray Newman was fatally shot during a burglary of his home near Tyler.

Evidence showed Newman's fiancée was raped.

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