North Carolina Man Is Sixth in State to be Spared Under New Law on Mental Retardation

Anthony Maurice Bone will become the sixth North Carolina death row inmate to have his sentence commuted to life in prison due to a 2001 state law banning the execution of individuals with mental retardation. The state defines as mentally retarded anyone with an IQ of 70 or below who also has significant impairment in at least two of ten life activities, such as communicating and taking care of themselves. The law requires that defendants show signs of retardation before they turn 18. The U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of those with mental retardation in its 2002 Atkins v. Virginia ruling. (News & Record, December 10, 2003). See Mental Retardation.