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June 8, 2006

Atkins may still get the benefit of Atkins

As Howard Bashman covers here, the Virginia Supreme Court today granted death row inmate Daryl Atkins a new trial on whether he is mentally retarded and can therefore take advantage of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling that bears his name (and categorically prohibits the execution of mentally retarded defendants under the Eighth Amendment).  Here are some details from this AP coverage:

The state Supreme Court ordered the new trial on Atkins' mental status Thursday because the jury had been improperly told Atkins had previously been sentenced to death. "The fact that the jury knew a prior jury had sentenced Atkins to death prejudiced his right to a fair trial on the issue of his mental retardation," Justice Cynthia D. Kinser wrote.

This Virginia Supreme Court opinion is available here, and below I have provided links to prior coverage of the Atkins Atkins saga.

June 8, 2006 at 05:39 PM | Permalink

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