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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Chemerinsky
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.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- 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 (Petitioner), who suffered from a mental disability, robbed an individual and killed him. He was convicted of abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder. In the penalty phase, the defense relied on one witness, Dr. Evan Nelson, a forensic psychologist who had evaluated Atkins before trial and concluded that he was mildly mentally retarded. The State presented an expert rebuttal witness who expressed the opinion that Atkins was not mentally retarded, but rather was of average intelligence. The jury sentenced Atkins to death. The Virginia Supreme Court then ordered a second sentencing hearing because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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