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Atkins v. Virginia

Atkins V Virginia

The Background of Atkins v. Virginia (2002)
Daryl Renard Atkins and another individual were convicted of robbing and murdering an individual after abducting him; shortly after the robbery, the two men killed the victim. Upon the investigation, the recounts given by the two suspects were in contrast of each other, however, due to the determination of Atkins as an individual with ‘mild retardation’, the presiding jury accepted the testimony of the other individual accomplice – Atkins was sentenced to death:

Within the Supreme Court case Penry v. Lynaugh (1989), Penry was convicted of a crime in the State of Texas and sentenced to be executed; although Penry was determined to be mentally incompetent and mentally retarded, the Supreme court ruled that Penry’s sentencing was not in violation of his 8th Amendment rights

However, with regard to sentencing the Supreme court required that the jury be privy to the analysis of specialized factors with regard to the sentencing of an individual deemed to be mentally retarded; these factors include an profile of the nature of the mental illness or deficiency, the relation of the mental illness to the crime committed, and the functionality and capability of the suspect in question

The Case Profile of Atkins v. Virginia

The following is a case profile of the legal trial eponymously titled ‘Atkins v. Virginia’:

Date of the Trial: February 20th, 2002

Legal Classification: Administrative Law; this legal field regulates ‘due process’, which is defined as the government’s obligation to respect, maintain, and uphold the legal rights of its citizens in the event of an arrest. Both the Federal and State government must preserve and protect an individual’s human rights and liberties; this includes fair, respectful, and ethical treatment devoid of undue violence and harm

Accused Criminal Activity: The following criminal activity and charges were cited by Daryl Renard Atkins against the State of Virginia within the appeal brought forth subsequent to the initial ruling:

Atkins appealed his sentencing, his attorney stating that the execution of an individual determined to be mentally retarded was a violation of the 8th Amendment forbidding ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment

United States Reports Case Number: 536 U.S. 304

Date of the Delivery of the Verdict: June 20th, 2002

Legal Venue of Atkins v. Virginia: The Supreme Court of the United States

Judicial Officer Responsible for Ruling: Chief Justice

Involved Parties: The following are the parties named with regard to their involvement in the Atkins v. Virginia case:

Daryl Renard Atkins; Plaintiff – Atkins v. Virginia

The State of Virginia; Defendant - Atkins v. Virginia

Verdict Delivered: The Supreme Court ruled that the execution of any individual considered to be mentally retarded or developmentally incompetent through capital punishment was a violation of the 8th Amendment; not only did the Supreme Court overturn the execution of Atkins, but also overturned that of Penry – in lieu of their respective executions, the two men were sentenced with life imprisonment.

Associated Legislation with regard to Atkins v. Virginia: The following statutory regulations were employed with regard to the Atkins v. Virginia trial:

The 8th Amendment addresses legal criminal procedure; this Amendment prohibits punitive recourse classified as ‘cruel and unusual’ with regard to prosecution, as well as the prohibition of an excessive bail process. Contact Virginia lawyers for legal advice and assistance.

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