Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. is a full service criminal defense firm, handling juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony cases from arrest through appeal.

Mental disability and the death penalty:

In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment prohibited the execution of a person with an intellectual disability. Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 321 (2002).
In 2014, the USSCourt made clear that when determining whether an individual meets the criteria to be considered intellectually
disabled, the definition that matters most is the one used by mental health professionals in making this determination in all contexts, including those “far beyond the confines of the death penalty.” Hall v. Florida, 134 S. Ct. 1986, 1993.

Here, despite the fact that Hall had an IQ of 70+, the original set cut-off in Florida finding a person was not mentally disabled, the Florida Supreme Court found that Hall demonstrated that he is intellectually disabled, and vacated his sentence of death, remanding with instructions for the trial court to enter a life sentence.
The Court reasoned that the evidence at a 2009 evidentiary hearing established that Hall met the clinical definition of an intellectually disabled person. Dr. Prichard made this determination in 2002 based on his personal evaluation of Hall and the voluminous records and reports of the multiple other mental health experts who evaluated Hall. The Court found the record evidence in Halls case overwhelmingly supported the conclusion that “Hall has been [intellectually disabled] his entire life.” 

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