Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 12 Feb '16 20:34 / 2 edits
    I heard a story on the news this morning about a guy who was found to be unable to stand trial because he had a very low IQ. I think it was 66.

    If a person can avoid being punished for things like murder due to being too stupid, then should such a person be able to vote? Surely if a person is unable to know right from wrong, then such a person should not be allowed to vote.


    From what I've been able to find out, an IQ of 70 and below would be considered retarded and would not be able to stand trial. This would mean that half the people in these countries are too stupid to stand trial in the US

    Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 70
    36 Benin 70
    36 Botswana 70
    36 Rwanda 70
    36 Togo 70
    37 Burundi 69
    37 Côte d'Ivoire 69
    37 Ethiopia 69
    37 Malawi 69
    37 Niger 69
    38 Angola 68
    38 Burkina Faso 68
    38 Chad 68
    38 Djibouti 68
    38 Somalia 68
    38 Swaziland 68
    39 Dominica 67
    39 Guinea 67
    39 Guinea-Bissau 67
    39 Haiti 67
    39 Lesotho 67
    39 Liberia 67
    39 Saint Kitts and Nevis 67
    39 São Tomé and Príncipe 67
    40 The Gambia 66
    41 Cameroon 64
    41 Gabon 64
    41 Mozambique 64
    42 Saint Lucia 62
    43 Equatorial Guinea 59
  2. 12 Feb '16 20:53
    Originally posted by Eladar
    From what I've been able to find out, an IQ of 70 and below would be considered retarded and would not be able to stand trial. This would mean that half the people in these countries are too stupid to stand trial in the US
    No, it would mean that whoever thought those IQ results were a reflection of intelligence in those countries is too stupid to stand trial.

    The funny thing about most modern democracies is that they do not presume that voters know what they want or are clever enough or educated enough to make a good decision. Some countries like the US stop prisoners from voting which to me seems to be a rather undemocratic idea especially when you have such large incarceration rates as well as biased incarceration practices.

    Another interesting fact about democracies is they often override the basic presumption that the people can choose a leader by putting some prerequisites into the law. So for example all the craziness about Obamas birth certificate. Apparently many americans don't really care about the voting process if the person elected wasn't born in exactly the right place. Zambia too has some ridiculous laws about presidential eligibility.
  3. 12 Feb '16 20:54 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, it would mean that whoever thought those IQ results were a reflection of intelligence in those countries is too stupid to stand trial.

    The funny thing about most modern democracies is that they do not presume that voters know what they want or are clever enough or educated enough to make a good decision. Some countries like the US stop prisoners fr ...[text shortened]... in exactly the right place. Zambia too has some ridiculous laws about presidential eligibility.
    Any comment on people avoiding punishment by being too stupid?

    Btw, it is only felons who can't vote not all prisoners.
  4. 12 Feb '16 21:02
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I heard a story on the news this morning about a guy who was found to be unable to stand trial because he had a very low IQ. I think it was 66.

    If a person can avoid being punished for things like murder due to being too stupid, then should such a person be able to vote? Surely if a person is unable to know right from wrong, then such a person should not ...[text shortened]... 66
    41 Cameroon 64
    41 Gabon 64
    41 Mozambique 64
    42 Saint Lucia 62
    43 Equatorial Guinea 59
    Lock someone in a closet for the first 15 years of their life and see how they score on these tests.
  5. 12 Feb '16 21:05
    Originally posted by whodey
    Lock someone in a closet for the first 15 years of their life and see how they score on these tests.
    Yeah, ignore the point of the thread.

    How about letting people go for being too stupid yet letting them vote.
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    12 Feb '16 21:15
    I know of no hard and fast rule that says people below a certain IQ are not competent to stand trial (note: even incompetents do not just "go free" as Eladar seems to think). The rule set forth by the SCOTUS is:

    test must be whether he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding -- and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him. "

    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/362/402/case.html


    I cannot imagine that someone who failed that test would be able to vote.
  7. 12 Feb '16 21:15
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Yeah, ignore the point of the thread.

    How about letting people go for being too stupid yet letting them vote.
    Judging from the last 16 years, how smart are the American people?
  8. 12 Feb '16 21:32
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Any comment on people avoiding punishment by being too stupid?
    I am largely against a punishment based criminal justice system anyway, it is not the most effective system.
    I do agree with the concept that the mentally retarded and insane should be treated differently and that punishment is even less effective with them than the general population.

    Btw, it is only felons who can't vote not all prisoners.
    I believe that varies from state to state.
  9. 12 Feb '16 21:36
    Originally posted by whodey
    Judging from the last 16 years, how smart are the American people?
    Some of them are pretty smart. I am impressed by some of the software development that gets done in the US. I am far less impressed by the political system that some other smart people have tipped in their favour at the expense of everyone else. There are clearly a lot of not so smart people supporting Trump
  10. 12 Feb '16 21:37
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I heard a story on the news this morning about a guy who was found to be unable to stand trial because he had a very low IQ. I think it was 66.

    If a person can avoid being punished for things like murder due to being too stupid, then should such a person be able to vote? Surely if a person is unable to know right from wrong, then such a person should not ...[text shortened]... 66
    41 Cameroon 64
    41 Gabon 64
    41 Mozambique 64
    42 Saint Lucia 62
    43 Equatorial Guinea 59
    The IQ tests does not reflect intelligence as much as it does the difference in society. In other words a people might use their intelligence differently. IQ testing where there are a lot of numbers used may not be of value with many of the tribal people in the different parts of the world. How to make a bamboo fire starter would likewise not be a good indicator of intelligence in New York. I have seen years ago people putting racist garbage on RHP concerning IQ of certain peoples around the world and how we are so much smarter. It just doesn't work out that way. You can't test someone on something they havent been exposed to that much and then turn around and compare them to people that regularly are exposed to and use knowledge and skill sets.
  11. 12 Feb '16 22:08
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I know of no hard and fast rule that says people below a certain IQ are not competent to stand trial (note: even incompetents do not just "go free" as Eladar seems to think). The rule set forth by the SCOTUS is:

    test must be whether he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding -- and w ...[text shortened]... 362/402/case.html


    I cannot imagine that someone who failed that test would be able to vote.
    Are you saying that a person's right to vote can be taken away by a failure to pass a test?
  12. 12 Feb '16 22:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am largely against a punishment based criminal justice system anyway, it is not the most effective system.
    I do agree with the concept that the mentally retarded and insane should be treated differently and that punishment is even less effective with them than the general population.

    [b]Btw, it is only felons who can't vote not all prisoners.

    I believe that varies from state to state.[/b]
    Just goes to show your ignorance.
  13. 12 Feb '16 22:22
    While I agree with Eladar that people like him really should not be voting (or if they are, listening to their betters for voting advice), I am not comfortable with empowering government to determine who can vote and who can not vote (except for a minimum age).
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    12 Feb '16 23:14
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Are you saying that a person's right to vote can be taken away by a failure to pass a test?
    No. I'm saying that someone who could not give any meaningful assistance to his attorney and who is unable to understand the nature of criminal charges against him is going to be unlikely to even be able to figure how to vote (which generally requires pre-registering and being able to read and understand a ballot or being able to have it explained to you).
  15. 12 Feb '16 23:18
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I heard a story on the news this morning about a guy who was found to be unable to stand trial because he had a very low IQ. I think it was 66.

    If a person can avoid being punished for things like murder due to being too stupid, then should such a person be able to vote? Surely if a person is unable to know right from wrong, then such a person should not ...[text shortened]... 66
    41 Cameroon 64
    41 Gabon 64
    41 Mozambique 64
    42 Saint Lucia 62
    43 Equatorial Guinea 59
    Where did you get this data. Please cite a link.