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John Evander Couey, the man convicted of kidnapping, raping and burying nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford alive, is not retarded and is eligible for the death penalty, a Florida judge has ruled. Official sentencing is scheduled for Friday for the 48-year-old repeat sex offender.

Couey was convicted of breaking into the home of Jessica's grandparents, where she lived with her father, abducting her from her bedroom, taking her to the mobile home where he lived, concealing her in a closet, raping her and finally burying her alive in trash bags in the backyard.

"A person who is mentally retarded simply could not have planned such a sophisticated crime, and escape," Judge Ric Howard wrote.

Couey's attorneys argued that he suffered lifelong mental abuse and had an IQ below 70. Judge Howard ruled that the most credible exam rated Couey's IQ at 78, above the level considered retarded in Florida.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that mentally retarded persons can not be executed. Couey's jury voted 10-2 in favor of the death penalty, but the final decision is up to Judge Howard.

The Jessica Lunsford Case
The Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation

Should Sexual Offenders Wear Tracking Devices?

See Also:
After IQ Ruling, Sex Offender Faces Death Penalty


August 8, 2007 at 1:04 pm
(1) joe says:


…………Say it with me……


August 8, 2007 at 1:50 pm
(2) cindy says:

I agree death, but he should have gotten death along time ago or life in prison because he was a repeat….How many more children are going to suffer at the hands of these sicko’s….Laws must be changed to give them life on their first offence never to be let out until they are in a casket….

August 29, 2007 at 10:16 pm
(3) ACR says:


June 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm
(4) Ramona says:

he is saying that he retarded to try to save his sorry BUTT he was not retarded when he commited crime. So there is no real reason for him to be alive. Pull the level aready. Hid time is UP!

July 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm
(5) dave says:

The only comfort to take from this is that the only people who will ever remember him will remember him not only as a monster.. but as a #### retard. Everyone can see through the verdict; they want to fry this guy, so legally speaking, it’s in society’s best interest if we pretend that he’s not retarded.. Someday, we’ll fix it so that confirmed rapists and murderers die.

July 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm
(6) GG says:

That man should of had to suffer like Jessica, her Father and Grandparents and all the rest of us who have to imagine her sheer holy terror when she realized she was being buried Alive!!! My God may he please be in the realms of hell forever!!! Her poor relatives! I would of lost my mind if that was my daughter, neice, grandkid, or even neighbor!! Go to http://www.meganslaw.com and just put in yur zip code lol and u will prob be shocked how many predators live very close to you and very close to yur kid’s school. I have something like 24 of them within a mile radius around my home.If u have kids u would be straight stupid not to check. To all the 13 % of people that did the poll here that asked if sex offenders should wear a tracking device for the rest of their lives that said no and the 14 percent that said it would depend. If you fools read and pay attention to stuff going on around you in this world u would see al that child predators cannot stop!! They themselves will tell you that.

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