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The Writing Is on the Wall: How the Briseno Factors Create an Unacceptable Risk of Executing Persons with Intellectual Disability

Note - Volume 94 - Issue 4

In the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ 2004 decision Ex parte Briseno, the court laid out a new set of factors to determine if a capital defendant is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution under the Supreme Court’s decision in Atkins v. Virginia.  In this Note, Hensleigh Crowell reviews trial court evidence and prevailing standards for determining intellectual disability and concludes that the Briseno factors create an unacceptablerisk of executing defendants with intellectual disability in direct contradiction with the Supreme Court’s directive in Atkins.

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