Friday, November 9, 2018
Law Review Article: Intellectual Disability in Capital Cases: Adjusting State Statutes After Moore v. Texas
Another new Atkins related law review article available here.
In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of intellectually disabled inmates violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment. Twelve years later in Hall v. Florida (2014), the Court revisited its Atkins decision to provide further clarification on how states should assess intellectual disability. This article examines Moore v. Texas (2017), the latest development in the Court's rulings on capital determinations of intellectual disability. It also reviews state statutes and court cases from the thirty-one death penalty states to determine how they comport with the Court's Moore ruling. These statutes and cases shed light on issues with respect to intellectual disability in capital trials that the Court has yet to address. The article concludes with model language to help states make their capital punishment protocols constitutional, so that the intellectually disabled remain free from execution.