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The Boston Globe

Nation

Justices take case on mental disability

Fla. death penalty eligibility at stake

WASHINGTON — Eleven years after the Supreme Court barred states from executing mentally disabled inmates, the justices said Monday they will take up a Florida case over how authorities determine who is eligible to be put to death.

The outcome could answer a question left unresolved by the court’s 6-to-3 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, the 2002 case that spares the mentally disabled from the death penalty. The ruling essentially left it to states to decide whether an inmate is mentally disabled.

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