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By: Nicholas DeJarnette.  Title of the case: Atkins v. Virginia 536 U.S. 304 (2002)  Plaintiff: Daryl Renard Atkins  Defendant: The Commonwealth of.

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Presentation on theme: "By: Nicholas DeJarnette.  Title of the case: Atkins v. Virginia 536 U.S. 304 (2002)  Plaintiff: Daryl Renard Atkins  Defendant: The Commonwealth of."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: Nicholas DeJarnette

2  Title of the case: Atkins v. Virginia 536 U.S. 304 (2002)  Plaintiff: Daryl Renard Atkins  Defendant: The Commonwealth of Virginia

3  August 16,1996  Daryl 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  The 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  Atkins 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  In 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  The 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  In 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 Breyer  Dissention side: Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice Scalia and Thomas

9  Stevens wrote the majority opinion.  Rehnquist and Scalia wrote separate dissenting opinions

10  Because 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  "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 Nov  ATKINS v. VIRGINIA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 19 November  "PENRY v. LYNAUGH." Penry v. Lynaugh. Web. 19 Nov  Scott, 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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