2 Outline Title of the case: Atkins v. Virginia 536 U.S. 304 (2002) Plaintiff: Daryl Renard AtkinsDefendant: The Commonwealth of Virginia
3 Original CaseAugust 16,1996Daryl Atkins and a friend, William Jones, abducted 21 year old Eric Nesbitt.The two men stole $60 from his wallet and drove him to an ATM to withdraw another $200.
4 Original CaseThe Atkins and Jones then took Nesbitt to a private location.Eric Nesbitt was then shot eight times.The two men were arrested and charged with first degree murder.The York County Circuit Court heard the case and found both men guilty.Atkins tired to convince the court that he was mentally retarded.Daryl Atkins was sentenced to death.
5 Court of AppealsAtkins appealed the case to the Court of Appeals on the grounds that because he was mentally retarded he cannot be sentenced to death.He stated this violated his Eighth Amendment rights which prevents cruel and unusual punishment.
6 Court of AppealsIn a 5-4 majority, the court affirmed the decision of the lower court citing Penry v. Lynaugh 492 U.S. 302 (1989).In this case a man with the mental capacity of a seven year old was convicted and sentenced to death for murder.
7 Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court granted certiorari due to the gravity of the dissenters.Those who wrote a dissenting opinion argued well enough to convince the supreme court to hear the case.
8 Supreme CourtIn a 6-3 majority, the court overturned the decision saying that the execution of mentally retarded is a violation of the Eighth Amendment.Majority Side: Justice Steven, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and BreyerDissention side: Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice Scalia and Thomas
9 Opinions Stevens wrote the majority opinion. Rehnquist and Scalia wrote separate dissenting opinions
10 Historical ImpactBecause his decision overturned a previous decision made by the Supreme Court, it shows that American ideals are changing and the court must keep up with the change.Justice Stevens stated, “Standards of decency are evolving which marks the progress of a maturing society.”
11 Bibliography"Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)." Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002). Web. 19 Nov"Atkins v. Virginia." Atkins V Virginia. Web. 19 Nov"Atkins v. Virginia." Atkins v. Virginia. Web. 19 Nov"Atkins v. Virginia." TheFreeDictionary.com. Web. 19 NovATKINS v. VIRGINIA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 19 November 2013."PENRY v. LYNAUGH." Penry v. Lynaugh. Web. 19 NovScott, Charles L., MD, and Joan B. Gerbasi, MD, JD. "Atkins v. Virginia: Execution of Mentally Retarded Defendants Revisited." ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY 31 (2003): Web. 19 Nov
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