TAMPA, Fla. - It's another setback for Florida's death penalty.
In a new ruling the State Supreme Court just gave a death row inmate a second chance at life.
Attorney Anthony Rickman, who reviewed the opinion for Fox 13, says the 8th Amendment protects the mentally disabled from being executed. "He gets a second chance to prove to the court that he's intellectually disabled, " said Rickman.
Inmate Frank Walls, convicted of two murders in 1987 in Okaloosa County, challenged his death sentence because he says he's intellectually disabled and ineligible for the death penalty.
The justices agreed.
So, now Walls gets a hearing to determine his mental capacity." This ruling does not absolve him from death what it does it give him a chance to present that mitigation," explained Rickman.
Florida's Death Penalty has been under assault since January.
That's when the U.S. Supreme Court determined Florida's death penalty sentencing procedures were unconstitutional, ruling a jury not a judge should have the ultimate say on life or death.
Months later, the high court piled on when they rejected Florida's rigid "IQ" testing to determine whether defendants should be protected from the death chamber when they're mentally handicapped.
If your IQ was 70 or higher, you could be executed, but not anymore.
The high court said other factors must be looked at. "His background, his history, his childhood, his upbringing other factors as opposed to just looking at his IQ alone, " said Rickman.
This ruling now opens the flood gates to other inmates hoping to dodge death.