Lynaugh 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. Putting Enmund to death to avenge two killings that he did not commit and had no intention of committing or causing does not measurably contribute to the retributive end of ensuring that the criminal gets his just deserts. In that year, the public reaction to the execution of a mentally retarded murderer in Georgia apparently led to the enactment of the first state statute prohibiting such executions. Samenow's testimony was based upon two interviews with Atkins, a review of his school records, and interviews with correctional staff. It's about one percent of the population.
There are some federal crimes for which the death penalty can be imposed, such as espionage, treason, and murder under certain circumstances i. Proportionality review under such evolving standards should be informed by objective factors to the maximum possible extent, see, e. Virginia, 536 2002 , is a case in which the ruled 6-3 that executing the violates the 's ban on cruel and unusual. To begin with, what the Court takes as true is in fact quite doubtful. Finally, the information provided to us does not indicate why a particular survey was conducted or, in a few cases, by whom, factors which also can bear on the objectivity of the results. Although these factors are by no means dispositive, their consistency with the legislative evidence lends further support to our conclusion that there is a consensus among those who have addressed the issue. Had Terry and company been exploited to petty indignity as imposed by an officer of the law? Contacting Justia or any attorney through this site, via web form, email, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship.
An extensive body of social science literature describes how methodological and other errors can affect the reliability and validity of estimates about the opinions and attitudes of a population derived from various sampling techniques. Affirming, the Virginia Supreme Court relied on Penry v. This was logical because it did not fulfill the objectives of retribution and deterrence, since people with mental deficiencies are less likely to understand why they are being punished in a certain way or to take lessons from how others in similar situations are punished. The execution was stayed, however, and later allegations of prosecutorial misconduct caused a judge reviewing the case to commute his sentence to life imprisonment despite the compelling evidence against him. Jones' testimony, which was both more coherent and credible than Atkins', was obviously credited by the jury and was sufficient to establish Atkins' guilt. The arrogance of this assumption of power takes one's breath away.
As a result of the plea, Jones became ineligible to receive the death penalty. Weiner, The Mentally Disabled and the Law 12-14 3d ed. In addition to objective evidence, the Constitution contemplates that this Court will bring its own judgment to bear by asking whether there is reason to agree or disagree with the judgment reached by the citizenry and its legislators, e. Atkins appealed and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review. Other people think that 'retarded' persons should be subject to the death penalty like anyone else. Dulles, , 101 1958 plurality opinion Warren, C.
Ken tucky, , 377 1989 plurality opinion. Congress expanded the federal death penalty law in 1994. When the case was appealed, most observers expected the U. Justice Hassell and Justice Koontz dissented. Arizona, , 154, 158 1987 , upheld a state law authorizing capital punishment for major participation in a felony with reckless indifference to life where only 11 of the 37 death penalty States 30% prohibited such punishment. Perhaps these practical difficulties will not be experienced by the minority of capital-punishment States that have very recently changed mental retardation from a mitigating factor to be accepted or rejected by the sentencer to an absolute immunity. Hale, Pleas of the Crown 33 1st Am.
Harvard Law Review 116 June : 2565—87. The punishment must be appropriate for the crime. The two suspects were quickly tracked down and arrested. United States, we held that a punishment of 12 years jailed in irons at hard and painful labor for the crime of falsifying records was excessive. The prosecution also persuaded the jury that he posed a risk of future dangerousness based on a record of violent crimes and that the manner of the crime was particularly vile, both of which are aggravating factors that can support a death sentence. In the penalty phase, the defense relied on one witness, Dr. Putting Enmund to death to avenge two killings that he did not commit and had no intention of committing or causing does not measurably contribute to the retributive end of ensuring that the criminal gets his just deserts.
Virginia, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the execution of any person who is mentally handicapped or challenged was a direct violation of the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution. As a result, Atkins's death sentence was upheld. The attitudes of that body regarding crime and punishment are so far from being representative, even of the views of Catholics, that they are currently the object of intense national and entirely ecumenical criticism. In my view, none should be accorded any weight on the Eighth Amendment scale when the elected representatives of a State's populace have not deemed them persuasive enough to prompt legislative action. And it explains, of course, why the Court can be so cavalier about the evidence of consensus.
Moreover, he saw public opinion as an inappropriate measure of constitutional norms. However, at the time Atkins came before the Court, that number had risen to 18. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that while individuals enjoyed the right to refuse medical treatment under the Due Process clause, incompetent persons were not able to exercise such rights. The death penalty on a mentally retarded person is. Thus there is little need to pursue legislation barring the execution of the mentally retarded in those States.
Nelson also indicated that of the over 40 capital defendants that he had evaluated, Atkins was only the second individual who met the criteria for mental retardation. Atkins was sentenced to death again, and the Virginia Supreme Court sustained the sentence this time. Gideon filed a habeas corpus petition in the Florida State Court, arguing that the trial court's decision violated his constitutional right to counsel. United States, , 370, and n. Even if I were to accept the legitimacy of the Court's decision to reach beyond the product of legislatures and practices of sentencing juries to discern a national standard of decency, I would take issue with the blind-faith credence it accords the opinion polls brought to our attention. In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, granting the U. We have never before held it to be cruel and unusual punishment to impose a sentence in violation of some other constitutional imperative.