Death Penalty

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Alabama

-

Alaska

Alaska does not have the death penalty.

Arizona

"Intellectual disability" means a condition based on a mental deficit that involves significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with significant impairment in adaptive behavior, where the onset of the foregoing conditions occurred before the defendant reached the age of eighteen. A person who is found to have an intellectual disability pursuant to this section shall not be sentenced to death but shall be sentenced to life or natural life. Requires pre-screening to ensure that the Defendant’s IQ is higher than 75. If defendant’s IQ is determined to be below 75 during prescreening, defendant and state may each nominate an expert to perform using current community, nationally and culturally accepted physical, developmental, psychological and intelligence testing procedures, to determine whether the defendant has an intellectual disability. The defendant has the burden of proving intellectual disability by clear and convincing evidence. A determination by the trial court that the defendant's IQ is 65 or lower establishes a rebuttable presumption that the defendant has an intellectual disability. If the trial court finds that the defendant has an intellectual disability, the trial court shall dismiss the intent to seek the death penalty. If the trial court finds that the defendant does not have an intellectual disability, the court's finding does not prevent the defendant from introducing evidence of the defendant's intellectual disability or diminished mental capacity at the penalty phase of the sentencing proceeding. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-753

Arkansas

A defendant is eligible for the death penalty if the capital murder was committed against a person whom the defendant knew or reasonably should have known was especially vulnerable to the attack because of a temporary or permanent severe physical or mental disability which would interfere with the victim's ability to flee or to defend himself or herself. Ark. Code § 5-4-604

No defendant with mental retardation at the time of committing capital murder shall be sentenced to death. The defendant has the burden of proving mental retardation at the time of committing the offense by a preponderance of the evidence. Ark. Code § 5-4-618

California

In any case in which the prosecution seeks the death penalty, the defendant may, at a reasonable time prior to the start of trial, apply for an order directing that a hearing to determine intellectual disability be conducted. He or she must submit a declaration by a qualified expert stating his or her opinion that the defendant is a person with an intellectual disability. The court shall order a hearing to determine whether the defendant is a person with an intellectual disability. At the request of the defendant, the court shall conduct the hearing without a jury prior to the commencement of the trial. The defendant's request for a court hearing prior to trial shall constitute a waiver of a jury hearing on the issue of intellectual disability. If the judge finds that the defendant has an intellectual disability, the death penalty is precluded. If the defendant does not request a court hearing, the court shall order a jury hearing to determine if the defendant is a person with an intellectual disability. The jury hearing on intellectual disability shall occur at the conclusion of the phase of the trial in which the jury has found the defendant guilty with a finding that one or more of the special circumstances needed for a sentence of death. If the jury finds that the defendant has an intellectual disability, the death penalty is precluded. Cal. Penal Code § 1376

If there is reason for a prison warden to believe that a defendant on death row is insane, he must report it to the district attorney who then must immediately file a petition asking that the question of the prisoner's insanity be looked into. A jury of 12 must be impaneled to inquire into the question. The district attorney must attend and may produce witnesses. The verdict of the jury must be recorded and, based off the verdict, the court must file an order reciting the facts and whether the defendant is found insane or not. If found insane, the defendant must be taken to a medical facility of the Department of Corrections until his reason is restored. Cal. Penal Code §§ 3701-3704.5

Colorado

A person sentenced to death is presumed to be competent to be executed – the party trying to show incompetence to be executed must do so with clear and convincing evidence. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-1.3-1402

Connecticut

Connecticut does not have the death penalty.

Delaware

Before trial the defendant may file a motion with the Court alleging that the defendant was seriously mentally retarded at the time the crime was committed. Upon the filing of the motion, the Court shall order an evaluation of the defendant for the purpose of providing evidence of the following: 1) Whether the defendant has a significantly subaverage level of intellectual functioning; 2) whether the defendant's adaptive behavior is substantially impaired; and 3) whether the conditions described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section existed before the defendant became 18 years of age. 11 Del. Code § 4209

Florida

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme was unconstitutional. Right now, the future of the death penalty is unknown.

Georgia

In the trial of any case in which the death penalty is sought, should the judge find in accepting a plea of guilty but mentally retarded or the jury or court find in its verdict that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged but mentally retarded, the death penalty shall not be imposed and the court shall sentence the defendant to imprisonment for life. Ga. Code § 17-7-131.  

Hawaii

Hawaii does not have the death penalty.

Idaho

-

Illinois

Death penalty competency: In determining whether the defendant is a person with an intellectual disability, the intellectual disability must have manifested itself by the age of 18. IQ tests and psychometric tests administered to the defendant must be the kind and type recognized by experts in the field of intellectual disabilities. In order for the defendant to be considered a person with an intellectual disability, a low IQ must be accompanied by significant deficits in adaptive behavior in at least 2 of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, social or interpersonal skills, home living, self-direction, academics, health and safety, use of community resources, and work. An intelligence quotient (IQ) of 75 or below is presumptive evidence of an intellectual disability. 725 ILCS 5/114-15

Indiana

 

Iowa

Iowa does not have the death penalty.

Kansas

If the court determines that there is not sufficient reason to believe that the defendant is mentally retarded, the court shall so find and the defendant shall be sentenced. If the court determines that there is sufficient reason to believe that the defendant is mentally retarded, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the defendant is mentally retarded. If, at the conclusion of a hearing, the court determines that the defendant is mentally retarded, the court shall sentence the defendant as otherwise provided by law, and no sentence of death or life without the possibility of parole shall be imposed. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-4623

Kentucky

No offender that has been determined to be “seriously mentally retarded” can be subject to execution. Ken. Rev. Stat. 532.140

Before imposing the death penalty, there must be a hearing to evaluate mitigating (including I/DD) and aggravating factors. Ken. Rev. Stat. § 532.025

Louisiana

No one with an intellectual disability may be sentenced to death – an evaluation must be performed if the issue is raised. "Intellectual disability" is a disability characterized by all of the following deficits, the onset of which must occur during the developmental period: (a) Deficits in intellectual functions such as reasoning, problem solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, and learning from experience, confirmed by both clinical assessment and individualized, standardized intelligence testing. (b) Deficits in adaptive functioning that result in failure to meet developmental and sociocultural standards for personal independence and social responsibility; and that, without ongoing support, limit functioning in one or more activities of daily life including, without limitation, communication, social participation, and independent living, across multiple environments such as home, school, work, and community. La. Code Crim. P. Art. 905.5.1

Maine

Maine does not have the death penalty.

Maryland

Maryland does not have the death penalty.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.

Michigan

Michigan does not have the death penalty.

Minnesota

Minnesota does not have the death penalty.

Mississippi

-

Missouri

The trier shall assess and declare the punishment at life imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole, or release except by act of the governor if the trier finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is intellectually disabled (refer to a condition involving substantial limitations in general functioning characterized by significantly subaverage intellectual functioning with continual extensive related deficits and limitations in two or more adaptive behaviors such as communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure and work, which conditions are manifested and documented before eighteen years of age). V.A.M.S § 565.030.1

Montana

-

Nebraska

Nebraska does not have the death penalty.

Nevada

A defendant who is charged with first degree murder and is facing the death penalty may raise the issue of developmental disability – there is then a hearing and examination; if the court finds that the defendant is developmentally disabled, the notice to pursue the death penalty is stricken. N.R.S. 174.098

If a jury imposes the death penalty and no hearing as to I/DD has occurred, the defendant may file a motion to set aside the decision on the grounds of I/DD; there is a hearing as prescribed in N.R.S. 174.098 above. N.R.S. 175.552

New Hampshire

-

New Jersey

New Jersey does not have the death penalty.

New Mexico

New Mexico does not have the death penalty.

New York

New York does not have the death penalty.

North Carolina

-

North Dakota

North Dakota does not have the death penalty.

Ohio

-

Oklahoma

-

Oregon

-

Pennsylvania

-

Rhode Island

Rhode Island does not have the death penalty. 

South Carolina

-

South Dakota

Death penalty not to be imposed on person mentally retarded when crime committed. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the death penalty may not be imposed upon any person who was mentally retarded at the time of the commission of the offense and whose mental retardation was manifested and documented before the age of eighteen years. SDCL § 23A-27A-26.1

Tennessee

If victim had I/DD, that is aggravating factor and qualifies offender for the death penalty. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-204.  

No defendant with intellectual disability at the time of committing first-degree murder shall be sentenced to death. The burden of to demonstrate intellectual disability by a preponderance of the evidence is on the defendant. The determination of whether the defendant had intellectual disability at the time of the offense of first-degree murder shall be made by the court. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-203

Texas

Competency to be executed: Someone found incompetent cannot be executed. A defendant is incompetent to be executed if the defendant does not understand: (1) that he or she is to be executed and that the execution is imminent; and (2) the reason he or she is being executed. Prescribes procedure for determining competency to be executed. Tex. Code Crim. P. § 46.05

Utah

Competency to be executed: When a court has good reason to believe an inmate sentenced to death is incompetent to be executed, it shall stay the execution and shall order the Department of Human Services to examine the inmate and report to the court concerning the inmate's mental condition; procedure for competency evaluation and hearing. Utah Code § 77-19-203

Vermont

Vermont does not have the death penalty.

Virginia

The definition of “mentally retarded” for purposes of death penalty litigation is: a disability, originating before the age of 18 years, characterized concurrently by (i) significantly subaverage intellectual functioning as demonstrated by performance on a standardized measure of intellectual functioning administered in conformity with accepted professional practice, that is at least two standard deviations below the mean and (ii) significant limitations in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. The defendant bears the burden of proving that he is mentally retarded by a preponderance of the evidence. Decided by the jury in a jury trial and judge in a bench trial. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-264.3:1.1.  

If the defendant cannot afford an expert to evaluate, the court must appoint one. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-264.3:1.2

Washington

In no case shall a person be sentenced to death if the person had an intellectual disability at the time the crime was committed. A diagnosis of intellectual disability shall be documented by a licensed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist designated by the court, who is an expert in the diagnosis and evaluation of intellectual disabilities. The defense must establish an intellectual disability by a preponderance of the evidence and the court must make a finding as to the existence of an intellectual disability. "Intellectual disability" means the individual has: (i) Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning; (ii) existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior; and (iii) both significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning and deficits in adaptive behavior were manifested during the developmental period. "General intellectual functioning" means the results obtained by assessment with one or more of the individually administered general intelligence tests developed for the purpose of assessing intellectual functioning. "Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning" means intelligence quotient seventy or below. Wash. Rev. Code § 10.95.030

West Virginia

West Virginia does not have the death penalty.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.

Wyoming

If the court finds that the convict does not have the requisite mental capacity, the judge shall suspend the execution of the convict. Thereafter a designated examiner shall reexamine the convict at least every twelve (12) months at the direction of the court. After two (2) annual examinations the court may suspend reexamination of the convict. Wyo. Stat. § 7-13-903