U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on execution of mentally retarded, law affected two Huntsville death penalty cases

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on execution of mentally retarded, law affected two Huntsville death penalty cases

Brian Lawson | blawson@al.com By Brian Lawson | blawson@al.com The Huntsville Times Email the author | Follow on Twitter on February 28, 2014 at  4:33 PM, updated February 28, 2014 at  5:42 PM

                      

              

U.S. Supreme Court Building 01.JPGThis Jan. 25, 2012 file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a Florida death penalty case Monday that could set new guidelines for determining if a defendant is mentally retarded and not eligible for execution.

The court ruled in 2002 in Atkins vs. Virginia that it was unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded defendant, a ruling that has come up in a pair of recent high-profile cases in Huntsville.

The issue before the court now is how that condition is determined…

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