Atkins Vs Virginia 18th Amendment stats that no one should be charged with a cruel or unusual punishment. Is the execution of mentally retarded persons "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment? Start studying Atkins v. Virginia. The jury again sentenced Atkins … What did Atkins' side argue? Virginia: Daryl Atkins has an IQ of 59 and was sentenced to death for robbing and murdering a man at gun point. Atkins (D) had an IQ 0f 59 at the time of his conviction. The Court in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), relied on the definition of mentally retarded provided by the American Association of Mental Retardation (AAMR), which defines mental retardation as follows: Mental retardation refers to substantial limitations in present functioning. Citation536 U.S 304 (2002) Brief Fact Summary. (Is it a proportional punishment? In the penalty phase of Atkins' trial, the defense relied on one witness, a forensic psychologist, who testified that Atkins was mildly mentally retarded. Start studying Chapter 9. Affirming, the Virginia Supreme Court relied on Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, in rejecting Atkins’ contention that he could not be sentenced to death because he is mentally retarded. The 5–4 decision overruled Stanford v.Kentucky, in which the court had upheld execution of offenders at or above age 16, and overturned statutes in 25 states. The jury sentenced Atkins to death, but the Virginia Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form. During resentencing the same forensic psychologist testified, but this ti… It raised serious ethical issues concerning mental retardation and criminal responsibility. Since it last confronted the issue, the Court reasoned that a significant number of States have concluded that death is not a suitable punishment for a mentally retarded criminal. Yes. While stopping short of abolishing the death penalty, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken measures to limit its applicability so that it is used primarily in cases where the defendant had the most culpability. "Construing and applying the Eighth Amendment in the light of our 'evolving standards of decency,' we therefore conclude that such punishment is excessive and that the Constitution 'places a substantive restriction on the State's power to take the life' of a mentally retarded offender.". What did Atkins' side argue? JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court. Atkins (D) had an IQ 0f 59 at the time of his conviction. It is charac- During resentencing the same forensic psychologist testified, but this time the State rebutted Atkins' intelligence. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Occasionally, states, too, determined that the death penalty could be too harsh as applied to some defendants, and many passed laws exempting people with limited intellectual ability from the death penalty. Key Arguments Atkins' jury originally found him guilty, but the case was appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court where lawyers argued that condemning a mentally retarded individual to death could be considered a cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore violates the eighth At the resentencing, Dr. Nelson again testified. To ensure the best experience, please update your browser. He made this contention when he was sentenced to death for committing murder. A Virginia law allowing the execution of mentally handicapped individuals violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments. Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States holding that juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for non-homicide offenses.. Citation536 U.S 304 (2002) Brief Fact Summary. 00—8452 DARYL RENARD ATKINS, PETITIONER v. VIRGINIA ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA [June 20, 2002] Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court. Precedents In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court held that executions of mentally retarded criminals are "cruel and unusual punishments" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Petitioner Atkins was convicted of capital murder and related crimes by a Virginia jury and sentenced to death. What did Atkins' side argue? Atkins v. Virginia. "Construing and applying the Eighth Amendment in the light of our 'evolving standards of decency,' we therefore conclude that such punishment is excessive and that the Constitution 'places a substantive restriction on the State's power to take the life' of a mentally retarded offender," wrote Justice Stevens. 36 The term "lunatic" was used to refer to the insane,37 while the term "idiot" seemingly referred to the mentally retarded.3 Individuals who fell into either one of these categories … Atkins contention was that the execution of a mentally retarded criminal is a cruel and unusual punishment which contravenes the Eighth Amendment. The Ruling: Atkins V. Virginia In Atkins V. 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. "This newest invention promises to be more effective than any of the others in turning the process of capital trial into a game," argued Justice Scalia. During the trial, a psychologist testified that Atkins was mentally retarded. Significance of Atkins v. Virginia. The jury convicted Atkins of capital murder. Case summary for Atkins v. Virginia: Daryl Atkins has an IQ of 59 and was sentenced to death for robbing and murdering a man at gun point. With Justice Sandra Day O Connor now firmly in the anti-capital punishment camp (a 180-degree position shift), Atkins v. The jury sentenced Atkins to death, but the Virginia Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form. 536 U.S. 304 (2002) Facts and Procedural History: Petitioner was convicted of abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder. They argued that Atkins was not guilty for committing the capital murder in the first place, because he has a mental punished when they commit crimes. The jury sentenced Atkins to death, but the Virginia Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form. What did Atkins' side argue? The jury sentenced Atkins to death, but the Virginia Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form. During resentencing the same forensic psychologist testified, but this time the State rebutted Atkins' intelligence. A series of appeals to state and federal courts lasted until 2002, but each appeal was rejected. Learn Atkins v Virginia with free interactive flashcards. 00-8452 Argued: February 20, 2002 Decided: June 20, 2002. 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