Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MR and Atkins cases: Guide to state legislative issues (James Ellis)

In my morning web searching I ran across the following document that may be of interest to readers of this blog.  The title of the document is Mental Retardation and the Death Penalty:  A Guide to State Legislative Issues.  It is written by a law professor--James W. Ellis, Regents Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law.  According to his faculty web page, Ellis has "worked on behalf of people with mental disabilities in the civil and criminal justice system." The publication is associated with the International Justice Project.  I noticed that some of the MR related links at the IJP page are not working..so I'm not sure how active or current this project is.

Below is the first paragraph.
The interest in State Legislatures in the topic of mental retardation and the death penalty has obviously heightened with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Atkins v. Virginia, 122 S.Ct. 2242 (June 20, 2002). The purpose of this document is to provide legislators and advocates with guidance in implementing the Atkins decision, so that each State’s death penalty legislation is in full compliance with constitutional requirements.

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