• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“This book is an excellent primer on a subject that Americans are likely to debate for the foreseeable future.” --Bimonthly Review of Law Books Unlike every other western democracy in the world, capital punishment is an active part of the criminal justice system in the United States. By the end of 1992, 2,700 men and 41 women were living under the sentence of death in America. Executing the Mentally Ill examines the compelling case of Florida death-row inmate Alvin Ford, which led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that executions of severely psychotic death-row inmates are in violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. But how should mental illness be defined for purposes of exemption from execution? How should mental health ...

Back to Federal Court: The 1988 Hearing and beyond
Back to federal court: The 1988 hearing and beyond

Acting on the U.S. Supreme Court mandate in Ford, on November 13, 1986, the Florida Supreme Court adopted emergency rules for dealing with death row inmates thought to be mentally incompetent.1 At the request of the state supreme court, amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedures were proposed by the Florida Bar Criminal Rules Committee. On May 1, 1987, the Florida Supreme Court invited comment on these proposed amendments;2 on December 31, 1987, the rules were made permanent.3 These rule changes made action by the Florida legislature unnecessary, so the Florida statute dealing with mentally incompetent death row prisoners was never changed in the wake of the ...

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