Abstract: On November 22, 2011, in Hill v. Humphrey, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting en banc, held that a petitioner’s federal habeas petition challenging his death sentence must be denied in light of the degree of deference owed to the state habeas court’s decision under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). In so doing, the court rejected the petitioner’s argument that Georgia’s beyond a reasonable doubt standard for proving a defendant’s intellectual disability is unconstitutionally stringent and thus eviscerates the right of the intellectually disabled to be exempt from capital punishment, a right clearly constitutionalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Atkins v. Virginia. This Comment argues that the majority’s overly strict approach in Hill has produced an unduly deferential standard for federal review of state court decisions. Consequently, under this approach, important constitutional protections—like that exempting the intellectually disabled from execution—are denied without recourse.
BCLR Releases Vol. LIV No. 2
Boston College Law Review is pleased to announce the publication of our March 2013 issue. • Jeremy Waldron, Separation of […]
BCLR Elects New Board of Editors
On March 22, 2013, the membership of the Boston College Law Review elected a new Board of Editors for the […]
BCLR Editors Win Student Writing Competitions
Two members of the Boston College Law Review‘s Executive Board, Laura Kaplan and Michael Palmisciano, recently won national writing competitions […]