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Samples in periodicals archive:
54) Because the juvenile-onset requirement appears irrelevant under the legal rationale for exempting mentally retarded offenders, a defendant who is functionally identical to a mentally retarded offender but whose impairments did not manifest until adulthood could challenge his death sentence as a denial of equal protection.
Supreme Court decision that executing mentally retarded offenders is unconstitutional provided little guidance on how to implement the ruling.
Justice Stevens delivered the Court's opinion, concluding that under the Eighth Amendment, in light of "evolving standards of decency," it would be excessive to punish a mentally retarded offender with a penalty of death.
Although the court held in 1989 that executing mentally retarded offenders does not violate the Eighth Amendment, (7) it reached a contrary conclusion 13 years later in Atkins v.
Juvenile-death-penalty foes find this trend encouraging, since the Supreme Court justified its 2002 ruling against executing mentally retarded offenders by citing bans on that practice in 30 states.
17) Therefore, the death penalty is very unlikely to have any deterrent effect on a mentally retarded offender.
within the world community, the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by mentally retarded offenders is overwhelmingly disapproved.
The Virginia Senate unanimously approved a bill last month that would bar executions of mentally retarded offenders convicted of capital crimes.