Indiana Supreme Court Rules Defendants Cannot Be Required to Show Mental Retardation by Clear and Convincing Evidence in Death Penalty Cases; Evidence Can Include Tests/Manifestations After Age 21

Pruitt v. State, 834 N.E.2d 90 (Ind. 2005)

In Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), the United States Supreme Court ruled that a death penalty cannot be assigned to criminal defendants who are mentally retarded, but did not define mental retardation nor establish the procedures to be used in making this determination. The Indiana Supreme Court answered a number of related questions in applying Indiana's definition of a "mentally retarded individual" as being "an individual who, before becoming twenty-two years of age, manifests: (1) significantly subaverage intellectual functioning; and (2) substantial impairment of adaptive behavior."...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 2