Study: More Than Half Of The People Executed In The United States Have A Severe Mental Illness


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Study: More Than Half Of The People Executed In The United States Have A Severe Mental Illness

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

Study: More Than Half Of The People Executed In The United States Have A Severe Mental Illness

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California Executions Death Chamber

CREDIT: (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A majority of the 100 executed inmates examined in a new study by three legal researchers had “a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis.” Yet, because of an oddity in the Supreme Court’s death penalty cases, it is typically constitutional under existing precedents to execute people with these illnesses.

In a pair of cases decided in 2002 and 2005, the Court held that it is unconstitutional to execute intellectually disabled inmates and individuals who committed a capital offense when they were under the age of 18. As the Court explained…

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