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Georgia is the strictest state in America when it comes to proving intellectual disability in capital cases. This month, the Supreme Court could save the life of a man who says he is mentally disabled—or let the state kill him.
Proposed legislation would allow people accused of crimes to tell juries if they had a mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, or an intellectual or developmental disability at the time of a crime. The bill could have helped individuals like Matthew Rushin.
State Attorney Melissa Nelson is pushing for a death sentence even as more prosecutors reject capital punishment.
Attorneys argued for decades that Bobby Moore was intellectually disabled when he was sentenced to death in 1980. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling led to a change in his sentence last year and cleared the way for his release.
Kim Ogg ran as a reform-minded district attorney candidate, but her office has sought two death warrants for Dexter Johnson, whose lawyer says cannot name everyday objects and has an IQ of 70.