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Death penalty

Disability Law

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

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An Empirical Assessment Of Georgia's Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Standard To Determine Intellectual Disability In Capital Cases, Lauren Sudeall Apr 2017

An Empirical Assessment Of Georgia's Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Standard To Determine Intellectual Disability In Capital Cases, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that execution of people with intellectual disabilities violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. In doing so, the Court explicitly left to the states the question of which procedures would be used to identify such defendants as exempt from the death penalty. More than a decade before Atkins, Georgia was the first state to bar execution of people with intellectual disability. Yet, of the states that continue to impose the death penalty as a punishment for capital murder, Georgia is the only state that requires capital defendants to prove …