If, however, execution of the mentally retarded is uncommon and if it is not a sufficient explanation of this that the retarded constitute a tiny fraction of society (1% to 3%), brief for american psychological association et al as amici curiae 7 then surely the explanation is that mental retardation is a constitutionally mandated. The supreme court ruled thursday that executing mentally retarded murderers violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment the 6-3 ruling is confined to mentally retarded. But since then, the american public, legislators, scholars and judges have deliberated over the question whether the death penalty should ever be imposed on a mentally retarded criminal, justice. With mental retardation, was unconstitutional given the holding in atkins9 the jd candidate, university of new mexico school of law, 2006 ba, university of chicago, 2001 i would like to thank professors james w ellis and barbara blumenfeld for their support and guidance on this. The result here, for now anyway, is the looming execution of a mentally retarded man whom no expert now believes is competent enough to be executed under georgia law and the atkins' precedent.
Indeed, the slower pace here may be explained by the simple fact that the impropriety of executing juveniles between 16 and 18 years old gained wide recognition earlier than the impropriety of executing the mentally retarded pp 10-13. Lynaugh , 492 u s 302 (1989) , the american public, legislators, scholars, and judges have deliberated over the question whether the death penalty should ever be imposed on a mentally retarded criminal. Virginia that it was unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded you might think that would have ended the execution of the mentally retarded, but you would be wrong. Atkins v virginia: the us supreme court declares the execution of persons with mental retardation unconstitutional on june 20, 2002, the supreme court issued a landmark ruling ending the execution of those with intellectual disability.
In 1989, the question of whether individuals with intellectual disabilities could be executed was brought before the supreme court in penry v lynaugh (1989) the court decided that although intellectual disability is a factor that may lessen a defendant's culpability for a capital offense, the eighth amendment did not preclude the execution. The execution of the mentally retarded did not advance either of the penological purposes of the death penalty, ie, retribution or deterrence, given the diminished cognitive and behavioral capacities of the mentally retarded that render them less. The execution of mentally retarded prisoners has been a controversial topic for decades the us supreme court has found, in atkins v virginia (2002), that such executions are unconstitutional this decision was partially based on the community's evolving standards of decency. In 2002 the supreme court ruled that putting mentally retarded people to death was cruel and unusual, and therefore unconstitutional evade execution because of mental retardation are.
Unless the us supreme court steps in to stop it on monday, the state of georgia will execute a man who is mentally retarded and therefore constitutionally ineligible for execution in 2002, the. Roper v simmons, 543 us 551 (2005), was a landmark decision in which the supreme court of the united states held that it is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18. The supreme court held that the question of whether a defendant would be a future danger to the community did not adequately allow for consideration of the defendant's mental retardation as a possible mitigating factor. Daryl renard atkins was convicted of abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder in the penalty phase of atkins' trial, the defense relied on one witness, a forensic psychologist, who testified that atkins was mildly mentally disabled (or mentally retarded in the vernacular of the day.
Atkins v virginia, 536 us 304 (2002), is a case in which the supreme court of the united states ruled 6-3 that executing people with intellectual disabilities violates the eighth amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishments, but states can define who has intellectual disability. Washington -- in one of the most important cases of the term, the us supreme court last week considered whether it is cruel and unusual punishment for the state to execute a mentally retarded.
It does not bear directly on the larger question of whether executing the mentally retarded is unconstitutional in all cases that issue will be addressed in a separate case the justices have. In march, the supreme court decided to use mccarver's case to revisit the question of whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to execute a person with mental retardation. Question of whether the imposition of capital punishment on mentally retarded people was unconstitutional in atkins, however, the court overturned the penry decision citing among other factors the emergence of a national consensus against. Executing the mentally retarded that the question is even being posed shows how deeply entrenched capital punishment remains in the united states but this is the question now under consideration.