Ky Court Rejects Death Row Inmate’s Claim of Mental Illness

Friday, 25 May 2012 10:56 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Kentucky Supreme Court has rejected a death row inmate’s plea to have his sentence overturned on claims he was mentally handicapped when he committed his crimes, saying he failed the standard for proving mental incompetence.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Thomas Bowling’s appeal was turned aside because he failed to show that his IQ was below 70, the legal standard set by the American Association of Mental Retardation, for proving in incompetence.

“In the final analysis, it is an inescapable fact that Bowling achieved IQ scores of 86 and 87 in 1990,” the court ruled Thursday, adding that his score remains above 70, even with maximum adjustments allowed under new guidelines set by past U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Bowling has been in prison since 1990, when he was convicted of murdering Lexington residents Eddie and Tina Earley.

In its ruling, the court noted that Bowling had failed to bring up the issue in his original trial or in previous appeals.

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