Supreme Court: Death Penalty and the Retarded NPR's Nina Totenberg reports that the Supreme Court has reversed a previous ruling and declared it unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded person. The court had ruled in 1989 that there was no national consensus that executing the retarded was cruel and unusual punishment. Now the court has ruled 6-3 that there is such a consensus. Eighteen states currently prohibit executing the retarded, and the majority opinion notes a consistent trend in that direction.
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Supreme Court: Death Penalty and the Retarded

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Supreme Court: Death Penalty and the Retarded

Supreme Court: Death Penalty and the Retarded

Supreme Court: Death Penalty and the Retarded

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1145323/145323" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

NPR's Nina Totenberg reports that the Supreme Court has reversed a previous ruling and declared it unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded person. The court had ruled in 1989 that there was no national consensus that executing the retarded was cruel and unusual punishment. Now the court has ruled 6-3 that there is such a consensus. Eighteen states currently prohibit executing the retarded, and the majority opinion notes a consistent trend in that direction.