There May or May Not Be Blood: Why the Eighth Amendment Prohibition against Executing the Insane Requires a Definitive Standard
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Stark, Robert A.
INTRODUCTION|The finality of the death penalty engenders a unique sense of urgency to determine when the death penalty should actually be carried out. As such, the groups of prisoners of whom the Eighth Amendment forbids execution are generally well-defined. The United States Supreme Court, in Ford v. Wainwight, determined that the Eighth Amendment precludes states from executing insane prisoners. However, the Supreme Court avoided defining insanity or setting the specific parameters of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against execution of the insane. This refusal has increased the likelihood of arbitrary administration of the death penalty because it prevents predictability. The lack of a uniform definition of insanity turns sentencing into a deadly game of chance...
41 Creighton L. Rev. 763 (2008)
Creighton University School of Law