Of course,Monster is the movie depicting the life of Aileen Carol Wuornos, who was executed by the State of Florida in 2002 for killing six men.  Maybe you’ve seen it. 

Monster Was the Fictional Account of Florida Serial Killer Executed in 2002

Aileen Wuornos, one of the most notorious serial killers in our nation’s history, was portrayed by Charlize Theron.  The actress won an Academy Award for her work in the film, and Monster was named "Best Film of the Year" by the AFI.  

From a death penalty perspective, no matter how good this movie may be, it’s probably better to spend your time watching the excellent 2-part documentary created by director Nick Broomfield.  

Broomfield Documentary on Aileen Wuornos Combines 1992 and 2003 Work

Entitled "Aileen" Life and Death of a Serial Killer," the documentary combines his earlier film, "Selling of a Serial Killer," with his later work.  It’s essentially two films combined into a single 1.5 hour biography.

This is an important film to see if you have any interest in capital punishment in this country.  

  • It sheds light on the process, i.e., what happens during the Penalty Phase of a capital case, the arena that Terry Lenamon defends his clients in so often. 
  • It helps to explain that these are real and very damaged people who are being sentenced to death, and helps in the understanding of why they have ended up in a courtroom with a prosecutor wanting their execution. 

Marion County Hearing 

The documentary deals with a February 2003 hearing in Marion County, Florida, presided over by Judge Victor Musieh, where defense counsel from the Office of Capital Collateral Regional Counsel works to vacate Wuornos’ death sentences.

Life and Death does not debate guilt or innocence.  It focuses on the person, much like the efforts made to build a case for mitigating circumstances in a capital case.

Broomfield educates us on her abusive childhood, complete with interviews of neighbors and her bio-mom.  

We learn the importance of a zealous advocate and wonder about her trial counsel.  The cross-examination of Steven Glazer ("Dr. Legal") is very illuminating on the role of a defense lawyer in a death penalty case.  How often does the public see this sort of cross?  

Finally, watch how Wuornos herself changes from the first film to the second, where she is residing on Florida’s Death Row.  

The documentary ends with an interview with Aileen Wuornos on the day before she was executed.

Consider for yourself whether or not Aileen Wuornos was sane and "of sound mind" at the time — and what the impact of residing on Death Row, awaiting her execution, had upon her mental state.

Watch for Free on Netflix or Amazon Prime

Right now, the Bloomberg Documentary dealing with the Death Sentence and Execution of Aileen Wuornos is available for free on either Netflix or Amazon Prime.  

It’s worth your time to watch.  

Netflix

Amazon Prime

 

 

Amnesty International has released its annual report on the status of capital punishment around the world.  Entitled "Amnesty International Global Report: Death Sentences and Executions 2017," you can read it online in its pdf format.  

2017 Report: Numbers Have to Be Higher than Reported

The 48-page report covers "the judicial use of the death penalty" as best it can.  As we’ve discussed earlier, some countries — like China — consider state executions to be "state secrets" and there is no way to confirm the number of death penalty sentences carried out by these governments.

For more on how scary this can be, read about the China Death Vans in a series of posts published here several years ago, written by Lenamon Law legal intern Sin-Ting Mary Liu

Other countries may not keep track.  Some may have a tally but may not want to share their numbers with outside organizations (e.g., North Korea).

 Amnesty International acknowledges these limitations as part of its report.  With the information and data it was able to obtain and verify, there is much to learn and consider.

Death Penalty in the United States: 2017

Among those statistics are the following that pertain to executions and death sentences in the United States during the past year:

1.  The United States is the only country in North, Central, or South America that carried out executions in 2017. This has been true for the past nine years. 

2.  There were 23 executions in the United States in 2017,  

3.  Forty-one (41) defendants were sentenced to death in the United States last year.

4. More states are carrying out executions.  In 2017, eight (8) states executed people:  

5.  Fifteen states had defendants sentenced to death during the past year. 

.For more, watch:

 

 

Two more petitions for a writ of certiorari were denied on Monday by the Supreme Court of the United States in capital cases coming out of Florida. 

They are dealing with review of current Florida Death Row inmates’ sentences where they were sentenced to die under a statutory scheme deemed unconstitutional by the High Court. 

Florida Death Row Sentences Under Unconstitutional System Denied SCOTUS Review

Without more, let us all consider the words of Justice Sotomayor in her dissent published in the cases of Guardado v. Jones and Cozzie v. Florida: 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, dissenting from the denial of certiorari.

Twice now this Court has declined to vacate and remand to the Florida Supreme Court in cases where that court failed to address a substantial Eighth Amendment challenge to capital defendants’ sentences, and twice I have dissented from that inaction. See Truehill v. Florida, 583 U. S. ___, ___ (2017); Middleton v. Florida, 583 U. S. ___, ___ (2018). Four petitioners were involved in those cases.

Today we add two more to the list, for a total of at least six capital defendants who now face execution by the State without having received full consideration of their claims.

It should not be necessary for me to explain again why petitioners’ challenges are substantial, why the Florida Supreme Court should have addressed those challenges, or why this Court has an obligation to intervene. Nevertheless, recent developments at the Florida Supreme Court compel me to dissent in full once again.

As a reminder, like the petitioners in Truehill and Middleton, Jesse Guardado and Steven Cozzie challenge their death sentences pursuant to Caldwell v. Mississippi, 472 U.S. 320 (1985). I summarized those challenges in Middleton as follows:

[Petitioners] were sentenced to death under a Florida capital sentencing scheme that this Court has since declared unconstitutional. See Hurst v. Florida, 577 U. S. ___ (2016). Relying on the unanimity of the juries’ recommendations of death, the Florida Supreme Court post-Hurst declined to disturb the petitioners’ death sentences, reasoning that the unanimity ensured that jurors had made the necessary findings of fact under Hurst. By doing so, the Florida Supreme Court effectively transformed the pre-Hurst jury recommendations into binding findings of fact with respect to petitioners’ death sentences. 583 U. S., at ___-___ (slip op., at 1-2) (dissenting from denial of certiorari).
Reliance on those pre-Hurst recommendations, rendered after the juries repeatedly were instructed that their role was merely advisory, implicates Caldwell, where this Court recognized that "the uncorrected suggestion that the responsibility for any ultimate determination of death will rest with others presents an intolerable danger that the jury will in fact choose to minimize the importance of its role," in contravention of the Eighth Amendment. 472 U. S., at 333.

Following the dissent from the denial of certiorari in Truehill, the Florida Supreme Court has on at least two occasions taken the position that it has, in fact, considered and rejected petitioners’ Caldwell-based challenges.1 In Franklin v. State, ___ So. 3d ___, 2018 WL 897427 (Feb. 15, 2018) (per curiam), the Florida Supreme Court stated that, "prior to Hurst, [it] repeatedly rejected Caldwell challenges to the standard jury instructions." Id., at *3. The decisions it cited in support of that pre-Hurst precedent rely on one fact: "Informing the jury that its recommended sentence is `advisory’ is a correct statement of Florida law and does not violate Caldwell." Rigterink v. State, 66 So.3d 866, 897 (Fla. 2011) (per curiam); Globe v. State, 877 So.2d 663, 673-674 (Fla. 2004) (per curiam) (stating that it has rejected Caldwell challenges to the standard jury instructions, citing cases that similarly rely on the fact that the instructions accurately reflect the advisory nature of the jurors’ role). But of course, "the rationale underlying [this] previous rejection of the Caldwell challenge [has] now [been] undermined by this Court in Hurst," Truehill, 583 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 2), and the Florida Supreme Court must therefore "grapple with the Eighth Amendment implications of [its subsequent post-Hurst] holding" that "then-advisory jury findings are now binding and sufficient to satisfy Hurst," Middleton, 583 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 2). Its pre-Hurst precedent thus does not absolve the Florida Supreme Court from addressing petitioners’ new post-Hurst Caldwell-based challenges.

The Florida Supreme Court in Franklin did not stop there, however. It went on to state that it had "also rejected Caldwell-related Hurst claims" more recently, citing Truehill v. State, 211 So.3d 930 (Fla. 2017) (per curiam), and Oliver v. State, 214 So.3d 606 (Fla. 2017) (per curiam), noting that "the defendants in Oliver and Truehill petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari to review their Caldwell claims, which the Court denied." Franklin, 2018 WL 897427, *3. This is a surprising statement, because Quentin Truehill and Terence Oliver were the two petitioners whose claims were at issue in my dissent in Truehill. Franklin did not discuss that dissent, joined by two other Justices, which specifically noted that "the Florida Supreme Court has failed to address" the important Caldwell-based challenge. Truehill, 583 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 1). Earlier this month, in rejecting a motion to vacate a sentence brought by petitioner Jesse Guardado, the Florida Supreme Court again held that it had "considered and rejected" post-Hurst Caldwell-based challenges, citing Franklin, 2018 WL 897427, and Truehill, 211 So.3d 930. Guardado v. State, ___ So. 3d ___, 2018 WL 1193196, *2 (Mar. 8, 2018).2

It is hard to understand how the Florida Supreme Court "considered and rejected" these Caldwell-based challenges based on its decisions in Truehill and Oliver. Those cases did not mention or discuss Caldwell. Nor did they mention or discuss the fundamental Eighth Amendment principle it announced: "It is constitutionally impermissible to rest a death sentence on a determination made by a sentencer who has been led to believe that the responsibility for determining the appropriateness of the defendant’s death rests elsewhere." Caldwell, 472 U. S., at 328-329. In neither Truehill nor Oliver did the Florida Supreme Court discuss the grave Eighth Amendment concerns implicated by its finding that the Hurst violations in those cases are harmless, a conclusion that transforms those advisory jury recommendations into binding findings of fact. Although the Florida Supreme Court noted in Truehill that the defendant in that case "contends that he is entitled to relief pursuant to Hurst v. Florida because the jury in his case was repeatedly instructed regarding the non-binding nature of its verdict," 211 So. 3d, at 955, that was the first and last reference to that argument. There was absolutely no reference to the argument in Oliver. 214 So.3d 606.3

Therefore, the Florida Supreme Court has (again)4 failed to address an important and substantial Eighth Amendment challenge to capital defendants’ sentences post-Hurst. Nothing in its pre-Hurst precedent, nor in its opinions in Truehill and Oliver, addresses or resolves these substantial Caldwell-based challenges. This Court can and should intervene in the face of this troubling situation.

I dissent.

Foot Notes

1. The cases in which the Florida Supreme Court has taken this position, i.e., that it has considered and rejected the Caldwell-based claims discussed herein, are not the ones currently under review before our Court in these petitions.


2. As petitioner Guardado explained in his supplemental brief, in addition to the postconviction motion that forms the basis of the petition currently before our Court, he also filed a motion to vacate his sentence. See Supp. Brief for Petitioner 1. It was with respect to that motion that the Florida Supreme Court issued the opinion stating that it had "considered and rejected" the Caldwell-based challenge. No mention of the Caldwell-based claim was made in the Florida Supreme Court opinion directly under review in this petition. 226 So.3d 213 (2017). In fact, petitioner Guardado filed a motion with the Florida Supreme Court for rehearing and clarification of the denial of his postconviction motion, noting, inter alia, that the opinion "unreasonably omitted any consideration or discussion of [his] arguments regarding the interplay between Caldwell and Hurst." App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 17-7171, p. 68a. The Florida Supreme Court denied the motion in an unreasoned one-line order. See id., at 7a. Petitioner Steven Cozzie also moved for rehearing below, similarly arguing in part that the Florida Supreme Court "overlooked the effect of instructing [his] jury many times that its recommendation was advisory only," citing Caldwell. App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 17-7545, p. 66a. The Florida Supreme Court also denied the motion in an unreasoned one-line order. See id., at 43a.


3. Tellingly, in neither Franklin nor Guardado did the Florida Supreme Court supply a pincite for its "consider[ation] and reject[ion]" in Truehill and Oliver of these Caldwell-based claims.


4. "Toutes choses sont dites déjà; mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer." Gide, Le Traité du Narcisse 8 (1892), in Le Traité du Narcisse 104 (R. Robidoux ed. 1978) ("Everything has been said already; but as no one listens, we must always begin again").

This week, the State of Oklahoma announced that it is forgetting all about lethal injections because it has not been able to get the necessary toxic drugs to use for executions.

Gas Chamber in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s going back to nitrogen.  That’s right.  The gas chamber will be the method of execution in the State of Oklahoma from now on.

Tennesee and Arkansas

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Supreme Court just nixed the Tennessee Attorney General’s request to hurry up and schedule eight men to die before June 1, 2018.  That’s the expiration date of the state’s supply of one of its lethal drugs needed for its lethal injection cocktail. 

Brings to mind Arkansas last year, when it had a problem with its midazolam and tried to execute 8 men in less than two weeks. 

See: Arkansas Plans 8 Executions in 10 Days: Two at a Time

How Much Longer for Lethal Injection Executions?

Which begs the question, how much longer are we going to have lethal injection executions in this country?  How fast are states going to follow Oklahoma’s lead?

See: Firing Squad, Gas Chamber, Electrocution for Executions?

It’s Monday morning, and the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has issued its orders of the day.  Included among them, denial of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Hidalgo v. Arizona.  

For background, read our earlier posts:

The Reverberating Importance of Trial in a Capital Case

Key here:  the importance of the underlying record in a capital case is once again in the spotlight.  The things that happen in the courtroom reverberate for years, not just in the particular circumstances of the defendant on trial for his (her) life, but for others on Death Row; those facing the possibility of the death penalty, and in reality, all of us and the country as a whole.  

What happens in the courtroom, where for instance Terry Lenamon works to defend one of the Terrorist Boyz from the death penalty this month, has far-reaching implications. And we can expect Arizona’s death penalty lawyers to take note of Justice Breyer today.  

Justice Breyer Explains Need for Evidence in Hidalgo

From Justice Breyer today:

Although, in my view, the Arizona Supreme Court misapplied our precedent, I agree with the Court’s decision today to deny certiorari. In support of his Eighth Amendment challenge, the petitioner points to empirical evidence about Arizona’s capital sentence system that suggests about 98% of first-degree murder defendants in Arizona were eligible for the death penalty.

That evidence is unrebutted. It points to a possible constitutional problem.

And it was assumed to be true by the state courts below. Evidence of this kind warrants careful attention and evaluation.

However, in this case, the opportunity to develop the record through an evidentiary hearing was denied.

As a result, the record as it has come to us is limited and largely unexamined by experts and the courts below in the first instance.

We do not have evidence, for instance, as to the nature of the 866 cases (perhaps they implicate only a small number of aggravating factors).

Nor has it been fully explained whether and to what extent an empirical study would be relevant to resolving the constitutional question presented.

Capital defendants may have the opportunity to fully develop a record with the kind of empirical evidence that the petitioner points to here.

And the issue presented in this petition will be better suited for certiorari with such a record.

The State of Florida wants the death penalty for 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who has already confessed to being the shooter in the Valentine’s Day tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

For those that follow the blog, you know Terry Lenamon’s son is a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, present on the day of the shooting but thankfully unharmed. 

Read, "Terence Lenamon’s Son At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting."

While many of the victim’s families did not want capital punishment in this case, it appears that the Broward County prosecutors have made their own decision here. 

See, "Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz," written by Paula McMahon and Rafael Olmeda and published by the Sun Sentinel on March 13, 2018. 

Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty for Nikolas Cruz

The State of Florida filed its Notice of Intent today.  You can read the complete Notice of Intent here. 

Aggravating Factors Asserted by State Attorney

The State of Florida intends to prove the following aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt in support of its desire for capital punishment of Nikolas Cruz:

  1. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(b);
  2. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(c);
  3. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(d);
  4. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(g);
  5. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(h);
  6. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(i); and
  7. Florida Statute 921.141(6)(k).

See, Notice of Intent pages 2 -3. 

And so the sentencing phase of the case begins.  The defense will bring forth its allegations of mitigating factors that go against the imposition of the death penalty. 

Next Step:  the Mitigating Factors

And there will be a trial where a jury will hear arguments from both sides — a process we have discussed so many times before here on the blog, as the Sentencing (Penalty) Phase of a Death Penalty case is where Terry focuses so much of his efforts.  

 Tomorrow morning in Orlando, Terry Lenamon will be joined by his friend Rick Kammen at the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 24th annual "Death is Different" seminar.

Lenamon and Kammen Speaking at "Death is Different" Seminar

Their presentation, entitled "Psycho Drama," begins at 10:30 a.m and concludes at noon.

Both Terence Lenamon and Rick Kammen are experienced death penalty defense attorneys with national reputations for fighting against capital punishment in this country.  For those unable to attend, FACDL offers recorded seminars for purchase. 

Terrorist Boyz Trial 

Those following this blog are aware that Terry Lenamon is currently involved in jury selection for the Terrorist Boyz capital murder trial of Frantzy Jean-Marie. 

Gitmo USS Cole

Many may also recognize Rick Kammen as a death penalty defense attorney based in Indianapolis who resigned from USS Cole representation due to bugs compromising the criminal defense. 

See today’s Miami Herald article by Carol Rosenberg for details, entitled "Pentagon: Microphone? What microphone?"

Here are their bios as provided in the seminar materials:

Richard Kammen, Esq.

Richard Kammen is a criminal defense lawyer with his office in Indianapolis, Indiana. He concentrates his practice in serious felonies, white-collar defense, complex crimes and death penalty defense. He is a member of the law firm of Kammen and Moudy. 

He graduated from Ripon College cum laude in 1968 and New York University School of Law in 1971.  Admitted to the Bar in 1971, he began his practice after service in the United States Army.

During his professional career, Mr. Kammen has served as a public defender in the Marion County Courts on two occasions, 1972-1974 and 1978-1979.  Mr. Kammen has defended over three hundred homicide cases including approximately forty death penalty cases in both State and Federal courts. No client that Mr. Kammen has represented at trial has been sentenced to death.  

Terence Lenamon, Esq.

Terence M. Lenamon is capital defense attorney in Miami and a Resource Lawyer and Co-Founder of Florida Capital Resource Center, an organization dedicated to training Florida capital attorneys.

Mr. Lenamon is a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College and has taught numerous training sessions throughout the state on techniques in mitigation investigation, jury selection, the art of the closing argument, and creative brief writing in capital cases. He frequently writes about death penalty issues on his blog at www.deathpenaltyblog.com.

 This week, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to consider the case coming out of Texas, where Death Row inmates petitioned SCOTUS to review their claims that Texas’ use of pentobarbital in lethal injection executions is cruel and unusual punishment.

Seems Texas has a stash of pentobarbital that it got from a compounding pharmacy and Texas isn’t sharing the identity of its drug supplier.  One key factor here:  how old is this stuff, and how far beyond its expiration date.  

Given that the High Court’s action this week, it appears the Lone Star State is free to proceed with lethal injections using its secret drug stash.  Ditto other states with similar Death Row drug pantries.  (At least for now.)

See: Texas Has A Top-Secret Execution Method

Executioner’s Drug Supply

What’s happening here?  For states that approve of capital punishment, there’s a growing crisis because they are finding it harder and harder to get the drugs needed for their execution protocols. The inmate is scheduled to die by lethal injection, but that’s only going to happen if they’ve got the drugs.

Either the big drug companies are refusing to supply executioners with the drugs, or Big Pharma simply stopped manufacturing them.  

See Pfizer Bans Use of Its Products in U.S. Executions

States have tried to find solutions to their supply problem.  Some looked to foreign markets.  Attempts to shop overseas have been thwarted by the Department of Justice. 

See DEA is Grabbing Up All the Sodium Thiopental? No Wonder Pentobarbital Is Popular in Executions

Others tried to change the lethal drug cocktail recipe.  In order to continue executing under the lethal injection method, there were some who altered the drugs contained in the traditional lethal three-drug cocktail.  Others tossed out the idea of a cocktail and went forward with a single drug protocol as an execution device. 

So, when states can find lethal execution drugs, it’s a big deal.  They place big orders so they have a secure supply for the future.  And they keep their suppliers secret, worried that others will pressure the supplier to stop providing execution drugs or that these suppliers will be snapped up by competing states in need of lethal drugs themselves. 

Consider Missouri. 

Back in 2014, Missouri grabbed a bunch of phenobarbital and held it as its lethal execution inventory.  The supplier’s name was given a code to be used in official documents to keep the identity of the pharmacy secret.

Of course, lawsuits were filed to try and reveal the supplier’s identity.  Many of these suits were filed by Death Row inmates seeking to know who the source of their chemical executioner. 

Recently, BuzzFeed revealed that Missouri’s drug supplier is a pharmacy named Foundation Care.  Seems Foundation Care has a reputation for “hazardous pharmaceutical procedures” – but whether or not it’s still available as a supplier of execution drugs is in doubt. 

The compounding pharmacy was purchased by Centene Corporation, and in the BuzzFeed report Centene insists that “Foundation Care has never supplied, and will never supply any pharmaceutical product to any state for the purpose of effectuating executions.”

Nevermind that BuzzFeed has 2 sources confirming Foundation Care supplied the lethal drugs for 17 Missouri executions.

So, has the source dried up?  Dunno. How much does Missouri have in its execution pantry?  Dunno.

Read the complete BuzzFeed expose, written by Chris McDaniel, entitled "The Secretive Company Behind Missouri’s Lethal Injections." 

What Happens Next?

Something else to consider here:  if the states cannot find lethal drugs, or they cannot use the drugs they have, then will this stop the executions? 

Or will it push states to consider older execution methods, which are still legally available to them like the electric chair, gas chamber, firing squad, or hanging?

See:

 

 

 

There are times when you are tested, when circumstances reveal your integrity or the lack thereof. 

That came last week for noted Death Penalty Defense Attorney Terence Lenamon, as his son Jude Lenamon was among the students attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

Death Penalty Defense When Your Son Is Threatened in Active Shooter Tragedy

When your sons — not only Jude, but his brothers Gabriel and Jonah — are under an active shooter threat, does your stance concerning the death penalty change?

When your son Jude, a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, deals with the aftermath alongside the rest of his family and friends, do you question your life’s work involved in defending those accused of the most heinous acts where capital punishment is sought?

Jude Lenamon’s Eyewitness Account 

For details on Jude Lenamon’s story, read his uncle’s article in the Palm Beach Post entitled, "Suburban safety shattered: What my nephews learned in the face of evil," written by Nick Moschella and published on February 16, 2018. 

Terry’s take on things is included in this story — no surprise for those who know him.  

 Defending those facing the death penalty brings Terry Lenamon into the heart of the issue of mental illness in this country and how that does (as opposed to should) impact the imposing of capital punishment on those convicted of serious crimes.

Mental Illness is an Issue in All Death Penalty Cases

We discuss aspects of mental illness and the death penalty regularly on this blog, because it is key to both the determination of guilt as well as the sentencing phase of any death penalty case and goes to mitigation issues. 

See:

SCOTUS REFUSES TO STAY EXECUTIONS EVEN IF MENTAL ILLNESS UNDISPUTED

U.S. Supreme Court Deciding Major Death Penalty Case Regarding Intellectual Ability and Capital Punishment: the Case of Freddie L. Hall

Schizophrenia Doesn’t Stop Execution of Mentally Ill Florida Death Row Inmate John Errol Ferguson This Week

SCOTUS on Mentally Ill and Death Penalty 

The Supreme Court of the United States has considered the issue of execution for those convicted of capital crimes but who are mentally ill either at the time the crime was committed or at the time of the scheduled execution. 

See:

Ford v. Wainwright 

SCOTUS ruled it is unconstitutional to execute someone who suffers from a mental illness and cannot understand that they are facing death or the reasons why the government seeks to execute them.

Atkins v. Virginia 

SCOTUS held the government cannot execute someone with severe mental disability.

 

For legal analysis, see Schaaf, Rosalind. "The Death Penalty and Wrongful Convictions of the Mentally Disabled in America.Legal Studies Master’s Degree: Criminal Law.(2017). 

 

Resources for Study of Mental Illness and Capital Punishment

However, for those wanting to educate themselves with an overview of how mental illness does and does not impact the ability of the prosecutor to seek the death penalty as well as the power of the state to execute those who are clearly mentally ill, we offer the following for study:

1 Death Penalty Information Center on Mental Illness and the US Death Penalty

Collection of resources discussing various aspects of this issue, including case examples of the mentally ill who faced execution in this country.  

2.  Amnesty International Article "Death Penalty and Mental Illness"

Discussion of how mentally ill are executed in the United States with a link to Amnesty International’s full report.  

3.  Mental Health America’s Position Paper on Mental Illness and the Death Penalty

Position given on why capital punishment is not appropriate for those suffering from mental illness. 

4.  National Alliance on Mental Illness Position Policy on Death Penalty for Mentally Ill

Policy paper on why the death penalty is not appropriate for those who are mentally ill.