NGO report

Mental Illness and the Death Penalty in North Carolina

By American Civil Liberties Union, on 1 January 2007

As this report lays bare, entrenched obstacles within the criminal justice system impede efforts to recognize those with severe mental illness and to treat them fairly. As detailed in this report, these obstacles include the fact that: 1, mentally ill offenders, because of their impairments, often undermine their own defenses in a variety of ways that contribute directly to their convictions, death sentences and executions; 2, although state law exclusively defines mental illness as a mitigating factor for sentencing purposes, juries often perceive mental illness as an aggravating (rather than mitigating) factor. 3, the law governing mental illness in the context of the death penalty does not often align itself with clinical realities; thus mental health experts must often answer legal questions that do not conform to their medical analyses.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Mental Illness,