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Mental retardation

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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 …


The Mentally Disordered Criminal Defendant At The Supreme Court: A Decade In Review, Dora W. Klein Jan 2012

The Mentally Disordered Criminal Defendant At The Supreme Court: A Decade In Review, Dora W. Klein

Faculty Articles

In the past decade, at least eight cases involving issues at the intersection of criminal law and clinical psychology have reached the United States Supreme Court. Of particular interest are those cases which concern three general topics: the culpability of juvenile offenders; mental states and the criminal process, including the presentation of mental disorder evidence, competency to stand trial, and competency to be executed; and the preventive detention of convicted sex offenders.

Of these eight cases, two cases cases adopted categorical exclusions from certain kinds of punishment, three involved questions about mental states (and in two of these the Court …


And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard Mar 2011

And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard

All Faculty Scholarship

This article examines the Court’s categorical exclusion of mentally retarded defendants from execution and explores how trial courts should employ procedures to accomplish heightened reliability in the mental retardation determination; it maintains that if a mentally retarded defendant is subjected to a death sentence then the Atkins directive has been ignored. To satisfy the Atkins Court’s objective of protecting mentally retarded defendants from the “special risk of wrongful execution,” the article explores whether trial courts should engage in a unified, pre-trial competency assessment in all capital cases where the defendant asserts mental retardation as a bar to execution and how …


Death Ineligibility And Habeas Corpus, Lee B. Kovarsky Jan 2010

Death Ineligibility And Habeas Corpus, Lee B. Kovarsky

Faculty Scholarship

I examine the interaction between what I call 'death ineligibility' challenges and the habeas writ. A death ineligibility claim alleges that a criminally-confined capital prisoner belongs to a category of offenders for which the Eighth Amendment forbids execution. By contrast, a 'crime innocence' claim alleges that, colloquially speaking, a capital prisoner 'wasn’t there, and didn’t do it.' In the last eight years, the Supreme Court has identified several new ineligibility categories, including mentally retarded offenders. Configured primarily to address crime innocence and procedural challenges, however, modern habeas law is poorly equipped to accommodate ineligibility claims. Death Ineligibility traces the genesis …


Of Atkins And Men: Deviations From Clinical Definitions Of Mental Retardation In Death Penalty Cases, John H. Blume, Sheri Johnson, Christopher W. Seeds Jul 2009

Of Atkins And Men: Deviations From Clinical Definitions Of Mental Retardation In Death Penalty Cases, John H. Blume, Sheri Johnson, Christopher W. Seeds

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Under Atkins v. Virginia, the Eighth Amendment exempts from execution individuals who meet the clinical definitions of mental retardation set forth by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the American Psychiatric Association. Both define mental retardation as significantly subaverage intellectual functioning accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning, originating before the age of 18. Since Atkins, most jurisdictions have adopted definitions of mental retardation that conform to those definitions. But some states, looking often to stereotypes of persons with mental retardation, apply exclusion criteria that deviate from and are more restrictive than the accepted scientific and clinical …


Cruel And Unequal Punishment, Nita A. Farahany Jan 2009

Cruel And Unequal Punishment, Nita A. Farahany

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues Atkins and its progeny of categorical exemptions to the death penalty create and new and as of yet undiscovered interaction between the Eighth and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The United States Supreme Court, the legal academy and commentators have failed to consider the relationship between the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause and the Equal Protection Clause that the Court's new Eighth Amendment jurisprudence demands. This article puts forth a new synthesis of these two clauses, and demonstrates how the Court's new Eighth Amendment jurisprudence has remarkable Fourteenth Amendment implications. To see the point in …


Research To Practice: The National Survey Of Community Rehabilitation Providers, Fy2004-2005 Report 1: Employment Outcomes Of People With Developmental Disabilities In Integrated Employment, Heike Boeltzig, Dana Scott Gilmore, John Butterworth Jul 2006

Research To Practice: The National Survey Of Community Rehabilitation Providers, Fy2004-2005 Report 1: Employment Outcomes Of People With Developmental Disabilities In Integrated Employment, Heike Boeltzig, Dana Scott Gilmore, John Butterworth

Research to Practice Series, Institute for Community Inclusion

Where do people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities work? What are their hours, wages, and benefits? This brief covers partial results from a survey that gives a snapshot of the outcomes for recently employed people with developmental disabilities.


Attorneys' Perceptions Of Child Witnesses With Mental Retardation, Rebecca Nathanson Jan 2005

Attorneys' Perceptions Of Child Witnesses With Mental Retardation, Rebecca Nathanson

Scholarly Works

Children with mental retardation are more likely to be abused than the general population, yet are often denied access to the justice system. Research on children without mental retardation has revealed skepticism as to their reliability as witnesses in the court of law. Even more so, children with mental retardation face the issue of credibility because of their age and disability. This study assesses attorneys' perceptions of child witnesses with mental retardation. Thirty-nine criminal attorneys completed a 33-item questionnaire designed to assess their opinions of the abilities of adults and of children with and without mental retardation to recall and …


Is Atkins The Antithesis Or Apotheosis Of Anti-Discrimination Principles? Sorting Out The Groupwide Effects Of Exempting People With Mental Retardation From The Death Penalty, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2004

Is Atkins The Antithesis Or Apotheosis Of Anti-Discrimination Principles? Sorting Out The Groupwide Effects Of Exempting People With Mental Retardation From The Death Penalty, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In "Atkins v. Virginia", the U.S. Supreme Court held that people with mental retardation may not be executed. z Many advocates for people with disability cheered the decision, because it provides a group of disabled people with protection from the harshest punishment imposed by our society. But other disability advocates were dismayed by "Atkins", not because they are fans of the death penalty, but because they believe that declaring disabled people ineligible for a punishment that is accorded all others denigrates disabled people as something less than human. If people with disability are to be treated equally, these dissenters suggest, …


Atkins V. Virginia: A Psychiatric Can Of Worms, Douglas Mossman Md Jan 2003

Atkins V. Virginia: A Psychiatric Can Of Worms, Douglas Mossman Md

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This article provides a psychiatric perspective on the problems Atkins raises for courts that handle death penalty cases. In contrast to the overarching aim of the majority's opinion in Atkins - making the administration of capital punishment more equitable - the Supreme Court's latest prescription of psychiatric help may only add a new layer of complexity and confusion to the already capricious process through which the U.S. criminal justice system imposes death sentences. The article briefly review's the Supreme Court's 1989 Penry decision, focusing on the role that evidence of mental retardation played in death penalty cases before Atkins was …


What Atkins Could Mean For People With Mental Illness, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2003

What Atkins Could Mean For People With Mental Illness, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article, written for a symposium on Atkins v. Virginia - the Supreme Court decision that prohibited execution of people with mental retardation - argues that people with severe mental illness must now also be protected from imposition of the death penalty. In labeling execution of people with mental retardation cruel and unusual, the Atkins majority stressed that mentally retarded people who kill are less blameworthy and less deterrable than the average murderer, an assertion that can also be made about people with severe mental illness. As it had in previous eighth amendment cases, however, the Court also relied heavily …


Atkins, Adolescence, And The Maturity Heuristic: Rationales For A Categorical Exemption For Juveniles From Capital Punishment, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2003

Atkins, Adolescence, And The Maturity Heuristic: Rationales For A Categorical Exemption For Juveniles From Capital Punishment, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

In Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court voted six to three to bar further use of the death penalty for mentally retarded offenders. The Court offered three reasons for banning the execution of the retarded. First, citing a shift in public opinion over the thirteen years since Penry v. Lynaugh, the Court in Atkins ruled that the execution of the mentally retarded is "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Second, the Court concluded that retaining the death penalty for the mentally retarded would not serve the interest in retribution or deterrence that is essential to capital …


India: Training Teachers For Children With Mental Retardation, Sharon A. Raver Jan 2001

India: Training Teachers For Children With Mental Retardation, Sharon A. Raver

Communication Disorders & Special Education Faculty Publications

India is a country of contradictions. On one hand, India is a modern country moving toward becoming a world leader in computer technology and boasts the second most computer literate population in the world (Babington, 2000; Kumar, 1999). On the other hand, India is a developing nation with 14 constitutionally recognized languages, 25% of the world's malnourished (Babington, 2000), and a majority that practices customs in everyday life that are 5,000 year old (Kumar, 1999). India is rich in natural resources and yet, because its population grows as quickly as its economy, it has one of the world's lowest per-capita …


Sexuality, Rape, And Mental Retardation, Deborah W. Denno Jan 1997

Sexuality, Rape, And Mental Retardation, Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, Professor Denno addresses the question of when sexual relations with a mentally retarded individual should be considered nonconsensual and therefore criminal. The article first explores the early treatment of mental retardation. It next demonstrates how old stereotypes influence the moralism inherent in modern conceptions of consent in rape determinations. Illustrating the point with reference to the Glen Ridge rape case, the article shows how courts applying contemporary rape statutes typically hold mentally retarded individuals to a higher standard of consent than nonretarded individuals. As a result, courts are hurting the very people they are supposed to protect …