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Ford V. Wainwright (1986) By:Harschel Reyes & Michelle Singh.

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1 Ford V. Wainwright (1986) By:Harschel Reyes & Michelle Singh

2 Background ●Alvin Bernard Ford- (plaintiff) convicted of 1st degree murder and given a death sentence in Florida ●During the offense, trial, and sentencing,he showed no signs of mental instability. ●Subsequently, his behavior started to change, indicating that he possessed and mental disorder. ○Schizophrenia ●This led to an appointment of 3 psychiatrists for examination. ●Without further statement, Governor of Florida signed the death warrant.

3 Ford V. Wainwright ●Plaintiff-Alvin Ford ●Defendant-Louie L. Wainwright

4 What was being questioned? ●If the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the 8th Amendment included prohibition of sentencing mentally insane prisoners to death row ●If the Federal District Court made an error when declining to hear Ford’s petition

5 Courts that had jurisdiction ●Florida State Court ○Tried for offense ○Death sentencing ○Unsuccessful hearing to determine prisoner’s competency ●Federal District Court ○Denied habeas corpus without a hearing ●U.S. Court of Appeals ○Affirmed Federal District Court’s decisions ●U.S. Supreme Court ○Clarified 8th Amendment in relation to the case ○Determined that Florida’s Government incorrectly handled the procedure in determining the sanity of Ford

6 Case Appealed The case (habeas corpus) was appealed from the Federal District Court to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court then took up the case when it granted certiorari to determine whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of the insane, and whether or not the District Court should have held a hearing on Ford’s claims for habeas corpus.

7 Final Ruling ●The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s clause against cruel and unusual punishment clause prohibits states from inflicting the death penalty upon an insane prisoner. ●The U. S Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s procedures for determining whether or not a death row prisoner was sane was not adequate for a fair hearing on the issue. ●It was ruled that Ford was entitled to a de novo evidentiary hearing in the federal district court to determine whether or not he was sane to be executed.

8 Landmark Court Case ●The ruling made it clear in the U.S. Constitution that the execution of an insane person, someone who does not understand the reason for, or the reality of, their punishment, is a violation of the U. S. Constitution.

9 Impact ●Atkins v. Virginia o Daryl Renard Atkins was convicted of abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder. However, a forensic pathologist determined him to have an intellectual disability. o Despite two repeated sentences to death, the Virginia Supreme Court declared that he could not be sentenced to death because he had an intellectual disability. ●Despite the protections that the Constitution has for the mentally insane, dozens of prisoners are still executed each year despite suffering from a serious mental illness.

10 Websites

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