Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Opportunity to Clarify Atkins v. Virgina?

Maybe. As the New York Times reports:
A 44-year-man whose lawyers claim he is mentally retarded is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening in Huntsville, Tex., unless the United States Supreme Court agrees to hear his case.

The man, Bobby Wayne Woods, whose I.Q. hovers around the level of a mildly retarded person’s, was convicted of the brutal killing of an 11-year-old girl in 1997 and sentenced to death.
While the Court, in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), held that executing the mentally retarded violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, state practice following the decision has--as the Times notes--been inconsistent.

We'll be sure to keep you posted on any developments in this case.


Update: Mr. Woods was executed as scheduled.

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