Pennsylvania v. Hackett

Following remand in this capital case, the Commonwealth appealed the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County's order granting Appellee Richard Hackett's petition pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). After determining that Appellee proved he was "mentally retarded" and thus, exempt from execution in accordance with the United States Supreme Court's decision in "Atkins v. Virginia," (536 U.S. 304 (2002)), the PCRA court set aside Appellee's death sentence. As the PCRA court made findings which were not supported by substantial evidence of record and made an error of law by improperly equating borderline intellectual functioning with mental retardation (intellectual disability), the Supreme Court reversed the PCRA court's order vacating Appellee's death sentence and dismissed his petition for collateral relief. View "Pennsylvania v. Hackett" on Justia Law