Pa. permits executions of mentally impaired.

Author:Gormsen, Lia
Position:News Briefs - Pennsylvania Supreme Court - Brief article

In a 5-2 decision, Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices ruled that any criminal defendant with mental impairments short of being legally defined as "mentally retarded," can be executed for capital offenses, reported In order for the death penalty to be waived, defendants must show that their mental illnesses began before their 18th birthdays. Justice Max Baer wrote the dissenting opinion in Commonwealth v. Vandivner, accusing the majority of being "draconian." He said that many defendants "were not afforded the specialized expert attention, IQ tests or adaptive...

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