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Penry v. Lynaugh

Significance, Supreme Court Finds Application Of Capital Punishment To The Mentally Retarded Constitutional, Impact, Further Readings


Johnny Paul Penry


James A. Lynaugh, Director, Texas Department of Corrections

Petitioner's Claim

That execution of the mentally retarded violates the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Curtis C. Mason

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Charles A. Palmer

Justices for the Court

Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White,

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 June 1989


The Supreme Court reversed Penry's death sentence.

Related Cases

  • Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976).
  • Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986).
  • Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988).
  • Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994