Howell v. Tennessee
||Op. Below ||Argument
Issue: (1) Whether, in proceedings under Atkins v. Virginia , the Sixth Amendment requires a state to prove the absence of mental retardation (intellectual disability) beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury, because death is not within the permissible range of sentences for a person who is intellectually disabled; (2) whether this Court should grant certiorari, vacate, and remand for further consideration of Howell's Sixth Amendment claim in light of Alleyne v. United States ; (3) whether it violates the Eighth Amendment and Atkins for a state court to determine a petitioner's I.Q. without appropriately applying scientifically reliable standards for the assessment of intellectual functioning such as the Standard Error Of Measurement (SEM) of I. Q. tests or the "Flynn Effect," a recognized phenomenon requiring the downward adjustment of raw I.Q. scores to reflect the petitioner's actual I.Q.; (4)
whether the Eighth Amendment and Atkins allow a state to use standards for assessing adaptive deficits that contravene scientifically accepted clinical practice and that focus on an individual's abilities rather than his actual deficits, when such deficits satisfy clinical standards for intellectual disability; and (5) whether it violates due process and/or equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment for a state supreme court to require consideration of SEM and the Flynn Effect in some Atkins cases but to refuse their consideration to the petitioner.