Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On June 20, ...

... 1953, International Criminal Court Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova (left) was born in Sofia, Bulgaria.
... 2001, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the United Nations proclaimed the 1st World Refugee Day. A global list of events commemorating the day is available here, and at ImmigrationProf Blog there's a call for petition signatures.
...2002 (5 years ago today), in Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled 13-year-old precedent to hold that execution of mentally retarded persons is cruel and unusual punishment that violates the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A footnote in the judgment revived consultation of external norms to aid constitutional decisionmaking. The Court did not establish a bright-line rule for determining whether a persons is "mentally retarded" – with the result that persons with the same IQ may not suffer the death penalty in some states, yet be executed in others, as author Sara Catania details here.

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