A new study of 100 of the most recent US executions has found some disturbing facts. Out of those 100 cases examined by three legal researchers, a majority of those executed had “a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis.”
In other words, the US is executing a massive amount of inmates who have severe mental illnesses. Yet thanks to two odd Supreme Court rulings, these executions are constitutional.
The two cases argued in 2002 and 2005 ruled that people with diminished mental capacity could not be executed if under the age of 18. Yet it is the wording that applies these cases to juveniles that allows such executions of inmates over the 18 of age to be legal, regardless of how diminished their mental capacities are.
Because of poor wording and poor decisions from the Supreme Court, a mentally handicapped adult who may have less mental awareness than that of a teenager, can be put to death regardless of their understanding of their actions or their consequences.
Is it any wonder that almost every industrialized nation around the world has outlawed the practice of putting inmates to death, and many US states have followed suit. What will it take for the US to outlaw the outdated and barbaric practice, especially when a majority is now known to suffer from a number of mental illnesses?