Atkins v. Virginia
United States Supreme Court
536 U.S. 304 (2002)
Daryl Renard Atkins (defendant) and William Jones, who was armed with a semiautomatic handgun, abducted Eric Nesbitt, robbed him of his money and then drove him to an automated teller machine where the pair forced Nesbitt to withdraw additional cash. Thereafter, Atkins and Jones shot Nesbitt eight times, killing him. Atkins and Jones were charged with abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder. In the penalty phase, Dr. Evan Nelson, a forensic psychologist and witness for the defense, testified that Atkins was “mildly mentally retarded.” Nelson’s conclusion was based on interviews conducted with people who knew Atkins, a review of his school and court records, and an IQ test administered to Atkins with a score of 59. A person with an IQ of 100 is considered to have an average level of cognitive functioning. Atkins was convicted of abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder and sentenced to death. Atkins appealed and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.