Young v. Georgia

State: Georgia

Filed: October 5, 2020

Court: Supreme Court of Georgia

Overview: This amicus brief challenges Georgia’s “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in determining intellectual disability in death penalty cases as creating a constitutionally unacceptable risk that defendants who have legitimate claims of intellectual disability will nonetheless be sentenced to death.

Excerpt: “Georgia was the first state in the Nation to establish a prohibition against executing individuals with ID thirteen years before the U.S. Supreme Court established a constitutional exemption in Atkins, and its leadership on the issue is to be commended…Despite Georgia’s early leadership on the issue, since Atkins not a single defendant in Georgia has been held to be exempt from execution due to ID pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-7-131.6 As set forth below, this onerous burden of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is inconsistent with the clinical diagnostic process and encourages jurors to default to stereotypes about people with ID.”

Case Documents

Amicus Brief

Georgia Supreme Court Decision

Related Media

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: High court to be asked to overturn intellectual disability threshold