A second psychologist asked to evaluate convicted murderer Stanley Griffin has refuted the first, telling a Brazos County jury he does not believe the defendant is mentally retarded.
Both the prosecution and defense will close their presentations Friday morning, leaving closing arguments before the jury begins deliberating Griffin's fate.
Dr. Tim Proctor, who was hired by prosecutors, believes Griffin's IQ is likely around 73 based on an April 2012 test he took in the Brazos County jail. Tests he took two months later also scored in the low 70s.
To be classified as mentally retarded, one must have an IQ below 70, although the jury can consider a standard measure of error up to 75.
By law, a mentally retarded person cannot be subject to execution, a punishment prosecutors are seeking for the man responsible for strangling Jennifer Hailey in her College Station home in September 2010 and attacking her nine-year-old son.
Jurors must unanimously believe Griffin is a future danger to others and there are no mitigating circumstances that should keep the State of Texas from executing him. Otherwise, he would receive life in prison without parole.
The April 2012 IQ test was the first Griffin had taken since 1993 when he was in prison for attacking a Webster, Texas woman in her home. He had also taken one in 1991.
His first was in 1981, when as a high school freshman, Griffin scored a 65 and was placed in a special program.
In June 2012, Griffin scored in the low 70s on IQ tests.
Dr. Mark Cunningham, a defense-hired psychologist who examined Griffin, testified Wednesday and Thursday that many of those scores needed to be readjusted due to the kinds of tests administered and other factors.
Proctor disagreed with the readjustment, and said that while the factors should be considered when looking at scores, the best way to address questionable scores is to administer the most recent version of the test in a good environment. The April 2012 test met Proctor's approval.
Beyond IQ, a person must have significant limitations in areas of "adaptive functioning," things like working, academic skills, health and communication. While Cunningham said Griffin showed major deficiencies in four out of 11 categories, Proctor would not call any issues Griffin had major, that his issues stemmed more from personality problems rather than intelligence.
Cunningham also asserted, through his analysis, that Griffin presented a no major risk of future danger if put into the prison system instead of Death Row. While he presented numerous studies on serious incidents in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system, the state pushed Griffin's violent history.
The jury of ten women and two men will likely hear closing arguments Friday, then decide Griffin's punishment.
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