The Champion

September/October 2006 , Page 50 

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State Legislative Affairs Update

By Scott Ehlers

Death Penalty

National: ABA Passes Resolution to Reduce Executions of Mentally Ill

The American Bar Association House of Delegates passed Resolution 122A at its annual conference on August 8, recommending that states end the practice of executing or sentencing to death the mentally ill. The resolution was based on resolutions that have been passed by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. According to the resolution, “Defendants should not be executed or sentenced to death if, at the time of the offense, they had significant limitations in both their intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior,” or had “a severe mental disorder or disability that significantly impaired their capacity (a) to appreciate the nature, consequences or wrongfulness of their conduct, (b) to exercise rational judgment in relation to conduct, or (c) to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law.”

The resolution also addresses the handling of cases involving

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