NC high court reviews death penalty of man who beheaded wife

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's highest court is reviewing whether justice means the death penalty for a survivor of El Salvador's blood-soaked civil war of the 1980s who strangled and then decapitated his estranged wife.

The state's Supreme Court hears oral arguments Monday on whether the state can execute 41-year-old Juan Carlos Rodriguez for the 2010 murder of his wife, Maria.

The hearing comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this spring that states needed to use current medical standards in deciding whether a killer is so mentally disabled he can't be executed. Rodriguez's IQ was estimated several times at below 70, a threshold for significantly impaired intellectual functioning.

North Carolina is rare among southern states in that it hasn't had an execution in more than a decade because of various legal challenges.

© 2017 Associated Press


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