Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Schriro v. Smith: States get first crack at mental retardation rules

In Schriro v. Smith, No. 04-1475 (Oct. 17, 2005), the Supreme Court summarily reversed the Ninth Circuit’s order requiring a jury trial on the question of the mental retardation of a Arizona defendant sentenced to death. The Court noted that Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) instructed the States to develop ways to enforce the constitutional restriction on the execution of the mentally retarded. The Ninth Circuit, therefore, was not authorized to impose a jury trial condition before Arizona developed its own procedures.