Entries tagged with “James McWilliams

Policy Issues

Mental Illness


Oct 22, 2019

After U.S. Supreme Court Orders Further Review, Federal Appeals Court Overturns Death Sentences of Two Brain Damaged Prisoners

A fed­er­al appeals court has over­turned the death sen­tences imposed on two brain dam­aged death-row pris­on­ers in cas­es sep­a­rate­ly sent back for fur­ther review by the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 15, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ordered a new sen­tenc­ing hear­ing for Alabama death-row pris­on­er James McWilliams. Two days lat­er, anoth­er three-judge pan­el of the 11th Circuit grant­ed a new penal­ty hear­ing to Georgia death-row pris­on­er Lawrence Jefferson. Both men had been sen­tenced to death in 1986 and lat­er chal­lenged their death sen­tences because…

Facts & Research

United States Supreme Court


Apr 14, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court: McWilliams v. Dunn Pre-Argument Briefing

In 1986, James McWilliams (pic­tured), an indi­gent defen­dant, was sen­tenced to death by a judge in Alabama after being denied access to an inde­pen­dent expert who could have helped the defense under­stand and present his men­tal health issues. On April 24, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court will hold oral argu­ment in McWilliams v. Dunn. The ques­tion before the Court is whether, when the Supreme Court held in Ake v. Oklahoma (1985) that an indi­gent defen­dant is enti­tled to mean­ing­ful expert assis­tance for the eval­u­a­tion, prepa­ra­tion, and pre­sen­ta­tion of the defense,”…