Ford v. Wainwright
Significance, Ruling On Insanity, Cruel And Unusual Punishment?, Deciding On Insanity, Implications Of The Forddecision
Alvin Bernard Ford
Louie L. Wainwright, Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections
That because Alvin Ford had become insane awaiting execution on death row, according to the Eighth Amendment, it would be cruel and unusual punishment to execute him; and that the way that Ford's sanity had been determined under Florida state law was a violation of Ford's right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Chief Lawyer for Appellant
Joy B. Shearer, Assistant Attorney General of Florida
Chief Lawyer for Appellee
Richard H. Burr III
Justices for the Court
Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall (writing for the Court), Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens
Warren E. Burger, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White
Date of Decision
26 June 1986
That executing a person who had become insane while awaiting execution was indeed a violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that Florida state statutes did not offer due process to determine prisoners' sanity.
- Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber, 329 U.S. 459 (1947).
- Woodson v. North Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976).
- Roberts v. Louisiana, 428 U.S. 325 (1976).
- Solem v. Helm, 463 U.S. 277 (1983).
- Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988).
- Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302 (1989).
West's Encyclopedia of American Law. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1998.
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