mental retardation

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Michigan Wiping 'R-Word' From Its Laws

Bills will remove 'retarded' and related words from the books

(Newser) - A few choice words are likely to be excised from Michigan law today, as Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is set to sign what is known as the "R-Word" package of bills into state law. The package—which contains eight House bills and seven Senate bills passed unanimously last Thursday,... More »

Ga. Inmate Granted Stay 30 Minutes Before Execution

Warren Lee Hill has been deemed mentally retarded

(Newser) - It doesn't get much more down-to-the-wire than this: Warren Hill had already taken an Ativan to calm himself for his imminent death last night. But the convicted Georgia murderer was granted a stay of execution just 30 minutes before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection, the Guardian... More »

Texas Executes Inmate Despite Low-IQ Claims

Supreme Court rejected his appeal hours earlier

(Newser) - A Texas man convicted of killing a police informant was executed this evening after the Supreme Court rejected arguments that he was too mentally impaired to qualify for the death penalty. Marvin Wilson, 54, was pronounced dead 14 minutes after his lethal injection began at the state prison in Huntsville.... More »

Texas to Execute Man Deemed Mentally Retarded

Tomorrow's penalty would run counter to Supreme Court ruling

(Newser) - A Texas prisoner diagnosed as mentally retarded is set for the death penalty tomorrow—despite a 2002 US Supreme Court ruling barring mentally retarded people from execution. The court decision left states some leeway in carrying out executions, and Texas controversially continues to use its own definition of mental retardation,... More »

Court Halts Execution of Georgia Inmate

Says lethal injection changes may require public comment

(Newser) - Georgia's high court has halted a controversial execution in the nick of time. Warren Hill, whose lawyers say he is mentally retarded and thus can't be executed, was set to die last night. But the court delayed the move for an entirely different reason: Judges are set to... More »

Georgia to Execute Man Deemed Mentally Retarded

State isn't convinced he meets the definition, despite court ruling

(Newser) - The US Supreme Court declared that the death penalty for mentally retarded criminals was unconstitutional in 2002. Georgia, however, is set to execute a prisoner so labeled next week, reports the Guardian . The execution of Warren Hill is proceeding because Georgia, alone among the states, says that learning disabilities must... More »

Tracy Morgan: Retarded Boys 'Strong Like Chimps'

Comedian apparently ready for a whole new controversy

(Newser) - Maybe Tracy Morgan is pranking his publicist for a new bit on Scare Tactics. In his first live performance since his infamous anti-gay rant earlier this month, the comedian smoothed over the scandal, but instead took aim at the mentally disabled. "Don't ever mess with women who have... More »

Judge Bans Man From Sex Over Low IQ

He's too challenged to give legal consent, says UK court

(Newser) - A UK judge has barred a man from continuing a sexual relationship with another man because of his extremely low IQ, the Telegraph reports. The 41-year-old lives in an assisted living facility, has an IQ of 48, and is "seriously challenged in all aspects of his mental functionality,”... More »

Aniston Slammed for Saying 'Retard'

Disability groups outraged by interview gaffe

(Newser) - The "R-word" isn't any more welcome on TV than the "N-word" is on radio, apparently. Jennifer Aniston has come under fire from disability groups after saying "retard" while being interviewed on Live with Regis and Kelly. "Yes, I play dress up!" Aniston said while discussing... More »

NJ Bans the Word 'Retarded'

At least in official state documents

(Newser) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law today forbidding state laws or rules to use the term “mentally retarded” to refer to those with intellectual disabilities. “This is making sure each citizen in our state is treated with the respect they deserve,” Christie said. “It’... More »

What's Wrong With 'Retard'

Slur diminishes 'the joy, hope, and sparkling individuality of millions'

(Newser) - In the wake of the furor over Rahm Emanuel and Rush Limbaugh's liberal use of the word "retard," Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver reminds us why the word matters: it represents a damning and hurtful social stigma. Intellectual disabilities advocates aren't looking to ban the word "retard"... More »

Rush Is With Rahm on Lefty 'Retards'

Blames 'political correct society' for overblown reaction

(Newser) - In a rare move today, conservative megaphone Rush Limbaugh agreed with Rahm Emanuel on something—though the confluence might not please Sarah Palin. The former vice-presidential nominee wants the White House chief of staff fired for using “retarded” in derogatory fashion, but Limbaugh said on his radio show today... More »

Palin Wants Emanuel Fired for Using the R-Word

Calling Democrats 'retarded' is on par with the N-word

(Newser) - Sarah Palin wielded her Facebook page last night to call for the head of Rahm Emanuel, who reportedly called some liberal groups “fucking retarded” during a closed-door health care strategy meeting in August. Palin likens the chief of staff's comment to using the “N-word,” and urges President... More »

Judge Nixes New Trial for Man With 47 IQ

Texas 18-year-old's 100-year molestation sentence will stand

(Newser) - Witness after witness testified about the severity of Aaron Hart’s mental disabilities—his former special education teacher said he functions below a 1st-grade level—but Texas judge Eric Clifford ruled against giving the 18-year-old a new trial or sentencing hearing, the Chicago Tribune reports. Hart, whose IQ is 47,... More »

How Thunder's Joke Hurts the Disabled

'Retard' a painful word for mother of daughter with Downs

(Newser) - Patricia E. Bauer suffers every time her Downs syndrome daughter hears the word "retard." When Bauer saw ads for Tropic Thunder, which jokes about retardation, they echoed every insult that her blond, blue-eyed daughter had endured for 24 years. After weeks of debate, Bauer remains stunned by ads... More »

Courts Debate Definition of 'Retarded'

Ruling on death penalty's constitutionality generates more questions than answers

(Newser) - Sentencing the mentally retarded to death is unconstitutional, and individual states set the cut-off between disabled and competent—sounds simple, but in practice, the Supreme Court's 2002 ruling has proven nearly impossible to enforce. At issue, the LA Times reports, is the gray area between low IQ and retardation, a... More »

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