State legislatures need guidance in implementing the United States Supreme Court's decision in Atkins v. Virginia barring execution of mentally retarded offenders. In this Resource Document, the American Psychiatric Association's Council on Psychiatry and Law, the component charged with developing policies and positions relating to forensic psychiatry, recommends statutory language addressing the definition of mental retardation, procedures relating to its assessment, and qualifications of testifying experts.

Richard J. Bonnie, The American Psychiatric Association’s Resource Document on Mental Retardation and Capital Sentencing: Implementing <em>Atkins v. Virginia</em>, 32 Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 304–308 (2004).