Death Penalty Jurisprudence: “Ford v. Wainwright”

In keeping with our common-law judicial system, it would be prudent to review a few of the Supreme Court’s prior cases that discuss executions of those suffering from mental conditions and/or those whose competency to be executed is in question. Indeed, in Madison v. Alabama, the first question presented before the court directly references two such cases (Ford v. Wainwright and Panetti v. Quarterman) and asks whether executing Mr. Madison comports with the Court’s decisions in those two cases. Thus, the first of these cases we will review is Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986). In short, Ford discussed whether executing a prisoner who is insane violates the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause.Read More »