SB 1001 – Ban Death Penalty for People with Intellectual Disabilities

This bill would clarify that a person with an intellectual disability, or who previously tested in the range of having an intellectual disability, or who developed an intellectual disability but was not formally diagnosed as a minor, is ineligible for the death penalty. For more than 40 years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have called for an end to the use of the death penalty in our land because it is inhumane. Regardless of one’s view of the death penalty, however, a person who has an intellectual disability (ID) should not remain on death row. The Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing a person with ID was unconstitutional and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment due to the person’s diminished culpability for their actions. Continuing to keep a person with ID on death row provides no rehabilitation, punishment, nor restoration to the offender, the victim, or society. 

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