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March 3, 2006

Mar. 13: CRUEL AND UNUSUAL-The case that stopped executions of the mentally retarded

Death Row San QuentinCRUEL AND UNUSUAL
The case that stopped executions of the mentally retarded

The lawyer who argued the 2002 Supreme Court case that stopped executions of the mentally retarded will speak at the law school at 4:30 p.m. on Monday March 13 in Room 110, Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St. in Eugene.

Mental disability law expert Jim Ellis will talk about “”What the Atkins Case Tells Us About the Death Penalty and What it Tells Us About Disability Law.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Jim Ellis (U New Mexico photo) In Atkins v Virginia, the court agreed with Ellis that capital punishment of prisoners with mental retardation violated the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.  Soon afterward, the National Law Journal named Ellis “2002 Lawyer of the Year.” He has also been recognized by the National Historic Trust on Mental Retardation as one of the 20th century’s 36 most significant individuals in the field of mental retardation.

The University of New Mexico professor’s interest in disability law began many years ago when he worked at Yale Psychiatric Institute as a conscientious objector. After law school at the University of California (Boalt Hall), he worked at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C., before joining the University of New Mexico law faculty 27 years ago.
 
INFO

A Driving Force - a story about Jim Ellis 

 

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Oregon Law » Newsroom » Mar. 13: CRUEL AND UNUSUAL-The case that stopped executions of the mentally retarded