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Judge Nixes New Trial for Man With 47 IQ

Texas 18-year-old's 100-year molestation sentence will stand
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 11:41 AM CDT
Judge Nixes New Trial for Man With 47 IQ
Judge Eric Clifford wasn't convinced by the argument that Aaron Hart hadn't been adequately represented.   (Shutterstock)

(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, was sentenced to 100 years in prison after he admitted forcing a 6-year-old to perform oral sex.

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Hart pleaded guilty to five related felonies that were stacked to add up to the century term. But his new lawyer argued that Hart didn’t understand the charges, and hadn’t been adequately represented by his public defender. His parents say he’s been raped repeatedly in jail. Clifford focused on Hart's guilt in ruling on the request: “Irregardless of whether he understood his Miranda rights, the evidence… is overwhelming that he committed the offense,” he said. (Read more mental retardation stories.)

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