Virginia death row appeal focuses on ‘adaptive functioning’

Picture Credit: Newsplex/Alfredo Prieto

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia death row inmate’s claim that he can’t be executed because he is intellectually disabled could turn on his ability to handle everyday tasks.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focused on Alfredo Prieto’s so-called “adaptive functioning” at a recent hearing. The court usually takes several weeks to issue an opinion.

Prieto was sentenced to death for the 1988 slayings of two George Washington University students. He was on California’s death row when a DNA sample connected him to the Virginia slayings.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Florida case that a rigid cutoff on IQ test scores cannot be used to determine whether someone is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution. Prieto says that ruling precludes his execution.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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