DAYTONA BEACH -- A local judge vacated the sentence of one of Volusia County's oldest death penalty cases, finding that Ted Herring's IQ is too low for him to be executed for killing a convenience store clerk in 1981.
Last month, Circuit Judge Joseph Will signed the order setting aside the death sentence, which had been handed down after Herring's trial in February 1982.
Circuit Judge S. James Foxman followed a jury's 8-4 recommendation that Herring be executed for shooting Norman Dale Hoeltzel in the left side of the head with a .22-caliber bullet.
Well, I guess that settles the question about whether a .22 can kill someone. What it doesn't settle is why the death-penalty proponents insist on killing these pathetic criminals.
"There is ample evidence in the record that throughout his life, Herring has suffered from significant limitations in adaptive functioning in multiple areas," Will wrote in the ruling.
Of course it's being appealed to the State Supreme Court. If it's upheld, Ted Herring will serve a life sentence.
What's your opinion? Should we be executing people with diminished capacity? Do you believe like many hard-liners that if a person is capable of doing what Mr. Herring did, then they are capable of paying the ultimate price?
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