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Landmark Case

Case Name: Daryl B. ATKINS v. VIRGINIA

Date, Location, Cite: 2002 VA
536 U. S. ____ (2002) #00-8452, June, 2002
US Supreme Court

Execution of the Mentally retarded is "cruel & unusual" punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Overturned Penry v Lynaugh (1989) . Death penalty is based on 1) Retribution & 2) Deterrence: MR by definition have diminished capacity and the same factors that make them less morally culpable make it less likely they can understand the possibility of punishment and therefore control their behaviors.