death penalty

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James Felner, author of “Mentally Retarded Don’t Belong on Death Row,” states that, “A person is considered mentally retarded if he or she has a significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, which generally means recording an IQ score of lower than 70, and exhibiting deficits in adaptive behavior before the age of 18.” According to the American Association on Mental Retardation, it has three components:
1.     significantly sub-average intellectual function
2.     accompanying impairments in the adaptive skills of the person
3.     manifestation of the disability before the age of 18

How can Americans put someone on death row that is not fully
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As Americans we should take pride in our country and our citizens, by punishing these special people not killing them. They did not choose their own mental impairments; therefore, they should not have these horrible acts of injustice inflected on them.
     In many cases, there have been numerous times that mentally ill convicts have been sentenced based soley on the words that flow from their mouths. It is proven that a retarded person is simply not the same as other adults. According to Felner, they are child-like in may of their limitations: their ability to reason and develop skills needed to navigate in the world are permanently stunted. In the case of Tony Chambers, a black man with an IQ in the 50s and a mental age of 6. According to, he was convicted of raping and murdering a young girl in 1990. Chambers confessed to the crime and will probably be executed, although no DNA evidence proved that he was the perpetrator. The confession of a 6 year old would never stand alone in court, but because he was in the body of an adult, his words were taken seriously and he was put to death.
     Many states have moved from these immoral acts, but too many remain. The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that the 8th Amendment prohibits the execution of insane prisoners. Only 12 states and the federal government in the United States do execute prisoners,

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