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Should mentally retarded persons be subject to the death penalty?

  • Yes, or else innocent individuals will be at risk.

    Individuals who have a mental disability cannot comprehend many things, and cannot perform simple tasks. However, although this may be true, mentally disabled individuals are able to act on their own. Additionally, since they cannot understand right from wrong as well as others, there is a greater chance of a crime being committed. Mentally disabled people are unable to learn from experiences, as said by Justice Stevens. Therefore, not being able to learn from experiences can result in another crime, putting more innocent individuals in danger. For example, Atkins had already committed several crimes by the age of 18, not learning from any of his past crimes. At 18, he commits another crime where he abducts a man, robs him of his money, and shoots him eight times. Atkins acted on his instinct, choosing to be under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. He understood right from wrong at that time, still deciding to be under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Furthermore, John Steinbeck, author of the novella Of Mice and Men, portrays Lennie to have a mental disability. Just as Atkins did not learn from his past crimes, Lennie also did not learn from his past accidents. In doing this, Lennie put individuals at risk. From these examples, the death penalty should be carried out on mentally individuals as they can be expected to repeat crimes from the past.
    (opening statement of my debate- use this if needed- no credit necessary)

  • Yes, but on a case by case basis only.

    Not all mentally retarded people are unaware of their actions or the consequences for their actions. Not all mentally retarded people are incapable of understanding the concept of punishment. Whether or not they should be eligible for the death penalty is something that needs to be handled on a case by case basis.

  • People with mental disabilities do not know right from wrong.

    The mental state of a person with a cognitive disability is not aware of his her actions and therefore should not be subjected to the death penalty. However I do believe that assessments and IQ test should be done in order to prove that the person is mentally unstable and not just disturbed.

  • People with mental disabilities do not know right from wrong.

    The mental state of a person with a cognitive disability is not aware of his her actions and therefore should not be subjected to the death penalty. However I do believe that assessments and IQ test should be done in order to prove that the person is mentally unstable and not just disturbed.

  • Mentally Retarded Not Fit for Death Penalty

    In reality, mentally retarded individuals shouldn't be eligible for the death penalty. These individuals can't always understand their own actions, and putting them to death would be a major ethics violation. Long-term prison sentences are a better solution in this case, and that's how things should stay for now and forever.

  • No,the mentally retarded should not be subject to the death penalty.

    Before someone is subject to the death society shouid be able to say they are aware of their actions as well as the consequences.This would be nearly impossible with someone that is mentally retarded.The better penalty for someone like this would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

  • Mentally Retarded Individuals Should Not be Subject to Death Penalty

    No, mentally retarded individuals should not be subject to the death penalty, nor should any other individual, period. Human life is sacred and all humans have the inalienable right to life. Since this right to life is inalienable, then nothing can take it away, no matter how terrible the act of a person might be.

  • Mentally retarded persons should not be subject to the death penalty.

    Mentally retarded persons should not be subject to the death penalty, and neither should anyone else. Capital punishment is inhumane and barbaric. Prison should serve to rehabilitate criminals and return them to society. Many countries have gotten rid of the death penalty for these reasons and it is becoming less and less popular around the world.

  • No they should not.

    I do not believe in the death penalty in general so I would not agree with subjecting anyone to it, however the people who have a clear and obvious mental disorder and are clearly not capable of understanding their actions should not get the death penalty. They should be given treatment.

  • Mentally retarded people should not be subject to the death penalty.

    Mentally retarded people should not be subject to the death penalty. When people like them commit a crime that is heinous enough to be given a death sentence, they probably do not have the mental capactiy to know that what they were doing was wrong, so they should instead be given a life sentence.

  • It is immoral and agains the US Constitution to do this

    It is entirely immoral to kill innocent people because of mental disabilities. Also, where does one draw the line of what is retarded, and who decides? Either way, it is wrong. Also, the Constitution protects against punishments without due process of law, including a trial by jury, which is not the case in this question.


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