Thursday, June 30, 2011

Atkins MR/ID Death Penalty decision: Moore v US (2011)

Thanks again to Kevin Foley for sending me the following Atkins-related decision with the following brief comment.

In U.S. v. Moore, No. 09-5935 (6th Cir., June 1, 2011), the court rejected the argument that Atkins rendered Moore’s 15 year sentence for being an “Armed Career Criminal” cruel and unusual punishment, but remarked that, “this sentence did account for his mental retardation. . . Here, the district court sentenced him at the very bottom of the guideline range, expressly noting Moore’s condition while pronouncing his sentence.” Interestingly, the sentencing judge wanted to assess an even lower sentence, but felt he was legally unable to do so. “The district court judge remarked that, if he had the authority to do so, he would consider imposing a sentence below the statutory minimum due to the circumstances of the offense and Moore’s mental deficiencies. . . [but] he did not possess that authority and proceeded to sentence Moore to 180 months’ imprisonment.”

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