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Posted: October 24, 2013 3:23 p.m.

Lawmakers to review tough death penalty provision

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia state lawmakers held a hearing to gather input from the public on whether changes should be made to a law that requires death penalty defendants to prove beyond a doubt they are intellectually disabled to be spared execution on those grounds.

Defense attorneys and advocates for the intellectually disabled told a House committee Thursday that the standard is too high, while prosecutors said they weren't necessarily opposed to changes in the law but expressed concerns about unintended consequences if the law is changed.

Georgia has the toughest standard for proving intellectual disability. Other states that impose the death penalty have a lower threshold, while some don't set standards at all.

The committee chairman said the hearing was very informative and that more consideration and research are necessary.

 
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