Saturday, February 12, 2011

Possible Atkins MR/ID claim preemptive strike by Indiana Supreme Court?

Thanks to Kevin Foley for sending the interesting Baer (2011) v Indiana decision.

This is an interesting example of what appears to be a preemptive strike by a state supreme court against the possibility of a future Atkins MR/ID claim. When one reads the decision there is much discussion of mental illness, toxic family/parenting, drug abuse....but nothing about possible MR/ID. The Indiana Supreme Court stated in this case, "The record contains very occasional mention of mental retardation. We thus pause to consider whether there might be any claim under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), though none of his lawyers nor any of the multitude of medical experts have made this an issue." (pg 35) The court then discussed the evidence bearing on an, ID claim and concluded...nope....not possibly MR/ID.

If is my understanding that typically, if no party raises an issue, then the court will not either. It is possible that given the numerous Atkins claims throughout the country, this court wanted to shoot down any thought that some lawyer might have in the future to raise an MR/ID claim on Baer's behalf.


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