Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Is It So Easy for States to Execute the Mentally Ill?

...There is no outright ban on executing the mentally ill. While the U.S. Supreme Court has barred the execution of the intellectually disabled and of juveniles, populations it deems so vulnerable that their execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment, there has been no such determination when it comes to people with mental illness. Rather, the court has said only that the “insane” may not face execution, leaving the measure of insanity up to to the states.  In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that in order for a prisoner to be considered competent for execution, he or she must have a rational understanding of the state’s reason for killing him or her.


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