6478945585 04c27c2949 q

Image licensed under CC BY 2.0

CURRENT EVENT | DECEMBER 6, 2016

The Death Penalty and Intellectual Disabilities

In 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court barred the execution of the intellectually disabled. But states have the ability to decide who is given the label of "mentally retarded." (This outdated term is used throughout this story since it’s the language in the court case.) The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that questions what standards states may use in determining whether a defendant convicted of murder is mentally deficient. Listen to hear about this argument.

Want to Listen?

TEACHERS: Access our daily current events podcasts for free!


To access our podcast library for ELA, Social Studies, and Science including all of our Premium features, choose the free Premium Trial (no credit card required!) option when you join.

Already a Member? Login Now

Story Length: 3:47

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234