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Landmark Cases

Case Name: Alvin Bernard FORD v.
Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, FLA DOC

Date, Location, Cite: 1986 FL
477 US 399
US SUPREME COURT

Ford was convicted in 1974, no insanity claim; in '82 his behavior changed- in '83 a psychiatrist said he had Serious mental illness, didn't understand why he was being executed- 3 state psychiatrists said was able to understand (competnet to be executed) - Supreme Court said 8th Amendment bars execution of insane inmate- Due process requires a hearing- dissent wanted to defer to state laws, prohibit executions of mentally ill, but use less procedure. The court felt that execution of a mentally ill person has less retribution value, fails to set the desired example, is not likely to deter others, and just "offends humanity." interesting, in that no scientific data proves that any execution deters others, and since most of world bars executions, perhaps any death penality "offends humanity."