General Assembly to Consider Exempting Inmates with Mental Illness from Death Penalty - Articles

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Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Mar 8, 2019
Tennessee lawmakers will once again debate over criminals being exempt from the death penalty because of a severe mental illness, NewsChannel 5 reports. The bill, which will be heard by the Criminal Justice Subcommittee next week, would exempt a person from being sentenced to death if that person had a previous medical diagnosis of a severe mental illness and is determined to be in a psychotic state at the time of the crime. In order to meet the requirement, the person must be diagnosed with these mental disorders defined by the American Psychiatric Association: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder with psychosis, major depressive disorder with psychosis and delusional disorder.