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Criminal Law Keyed to Ohlin
Atkins v. Virginia
Citation:536 U.S. 304 (2002)
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Atkins was found guilty of several crimes after a jury trial, resulting from a night in which he, along with someone else, robbed a man, abducted him, and killed him by shooting him eight times.
At sentencing, Dr. Evan Nelson, a forensic psychologist, testified that Atkins was “mildly mentally retarded” based on interviews with people who knew Atkins, a review of his school and court records, and his IQ score of 59. The jury sentenced him to death. However, the Virginia Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form. At the resentencing, Dr. Nelson testified again. The state also presented an expert that testified that Atkins was not mentally retarded, but had antisocial personality disorder. The jury sentenced him to death again.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.