Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Turner: Death Row Inmate Not Mentally Retarded
In In re Turner, No. 11-11037 (April 5, 2011), the Court held that a Florida inmate, on death row for a 1985 murder conviction, failed to establish that he was eligible for a second or successive habeas petition, because he failed to establish that he was ineligible for the death penalty on account of his mental retardation. The Court agreed that based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Atkins, Turner would be eligible for a second or successive petition if he could demonstrate that he was ineligible for the death penalty on account of Atkins’ holding that mentally retarded offenders should not be executed. However, there was no reasonable likelihood that Turner was mentally retarded. The Court cited tests showing “average intelligence,” his attendance at junior college, and his stable job history.