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Ford v. Wainwright

Deciding On Insanity

Having decided that an insane person should not be executed, Justice Marshall went on to wonder what procedure should be used to decide whether a prisoner was insane. On the one hand, prisoners have the right to the due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. On the other hand, states have the right to speedily proceed with legal executions--and they have the right to weed out frivolous claims of insanity by sane prisoners wishing to avoid execution.

Justice Marshall's decision did not spell out what the Court might consider sufficient procedures to guarantee due process. He did list three inadequacies in the Florida law:

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Ford v. Wainwright - Significance, Ruling On Insanity, Cruel And Unusual Punishment?, Deciding On Insanity, Implications Of The Forddecision