ISSUE: DEATH PENALTY and PEOPLE with MENTAL ILLNESS
STATEMENT: The process of determining guilt and imposing sentence is necessarily more complex for individuals with mental illness. A high standard of care is essential with regard to legal representation as is a psychological/psychiatric evaluation for individuals with mental ill-ness involved in death penalty cases. As it is the policy of our state is to treat those with mental illness, clearly mental illness should always be taken into account during all phases of a potential death penalty case. At a minimum, the death penalty should not be an option for those with severe mental illness.
MHAI will support legislation that prohibits the use of the death penalty for those with se-vere mental illness.
LEVEL OF PRIORITY: III