« Another Libby tour around the blogosphere | Main | More thoughtful commentary on the President as sentencer »

July 6, 2007

ABA Journal article on Panetti

The ABA Journal has this new article on the Supreme Court's Panetti decision entitled "Mentally Ill Death Row Inmates Get Another Chance: Court turns back Texas capital case once again."  Here is a snippet focused on the case's possible broader impact:

The U.S. Supreme Court did more Thursday than block the execution of one mentally ill death row inmate in Texas. Panetti v. Quarterman, No. 06-6407. It also gave other mentally ill death row inmates potential new grounds to challenge their sentences, legal experts say....

Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a Sacramento, Calif.-based victims' rights organization, calls the decision the "Panetti punt" because the court didn't answer the substantive Eighth Amendment question it was supposed to answer. If the decision has a bright side, Scheidegger says, it is that the majority made clear it was talking about psychotic disorders, not the broad sweep of mental illnesses contained in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Lawyers for the Texas attorney general's office refused to comment on the decision. But they did issue a prepared statement from Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who argued the case before the court. Cruz said the decision will "invite abuse from capital murderers, subject the courts to numerous false claims of incompetency and even further delay justice for the victims' families."  But he also said prosecutors would "continue working" to ensure that Panetti is executed for the murders of his in-laws.

July 6, 2007 at 03:25 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference ABA Journal article on Panetti:


Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB