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January 24, 2006

Implementing Atkins

This week brings two interesting stories concerning the application of Supreme Court's decision in Atkins barring the execution of defendants with mental retardation:

  • As detailed in this story from North Carolina, federal District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, rejecting a state court's decision to the contrary, has "concluded that [death row defendant Elton] McLaughlin 'has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that he is mentally retarded' [and he] ordered that McLaughlin's death sentences be vacated and that he serve the rest of his life in prison."

  • As detailed in this story from Florida, the Eleventh Circuit has rejected retardation claims by Clarence Hill, who is scheduled to be executed at 6pm on Tuesday.  The Eleventh Circuit's decision today in In re Hill , which concludes that his latest habeas application "is over 29 months late and is therefore timebarred," is available here.  Another Eleventh Circuit decision, rejecting an attempt to challenge Florida's lethal injection protocol, is available here.

UPDATE:  This AP story indicates that the Supreme Court granted a stay in the Hill case around the time of the defendant's scheduled execution.  However, these orders from the Supreme Court seem to indicate Hill's claims were ultimately rejected by the full court.

January 24, 2006 at 04:33 PM | Permalink

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Tracked on Jan 25, 2006 12:18:06 AM

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