A federal judge in Brooklyn last week shot down the death penalty verdict against convicted cop-killer Ronell Wilson, citing the killer as being mentally handicapped and thus ineligible for the death sentence.
Wilson was found guilty of murdering NYPD Detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin during a gun-buy sting in 2003. He was sentenced to death for the crime.
But last week Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that Wilson was ineligible for that sentence due to his mental handicap and instead re-sentenced Wilson to life in prison.
The ruling comes in the wake of a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that stated a judge could not rely solely on an individual's IQ score to determine whether or not the person was "intellectually disabled."
Prosecutors argued that Wilson's mental capacity was sufficient, citing his ability to send and receive emails, memorize book passages, and even seduce a female prison guard.
In reassessing Wilson, Judge Garaufis found that Wilson's "intellectual and adaptive deficits" were present prior to reaching the age of 18.
The judge made clear that he did not condone the actions of the defendant, saying, "Having presided over this tragic case for more than a decade, the court quite frankly finds it impossible to muster any sense of sympathy for this defendant."
He added, "To be candid, the court harbors doubts as to whether Wilson would be considered intellectually disabled by most clinicians," arguing that the Supreme Court's ruling provided a definition of mental incapacity that exceeded one used by either clinicians or laymen.
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