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March 9, 2006

Applying Ford and Atkins in the Fourth Circuit

As detailed here by Howard, the Fourth Circuit today issued an interesting split 7-6 en banc ruling in Walton v. Johnson, No. 04-19 (4th Cir. Mar. 9, 2006) (available here), that ultimately rejects a Virginia death row inmate's habeas claims that "he is both mentally incompetent and mentally retarded and, therefore, his execution is precluded under Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986) (prohibiting the execution of insane inmates), and Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) (prohibiting the execution of mentally retarded inmates)." 

Anyone interested in mental competency and the death penalty — or interested to see how Emily from Our Town finds her way into a concurring opinion — should be sure to check out Walton v. Johnson.

March 9, 2006 at 06:26 PM | Permalink


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