Capital punishment is still practiced in the majority of states for certain federal crimes. As for 2016, more than 100 of the countries in the world have condemned or refused from execution as a legal practice. The cruelty of executing people with mental retardation is an especially problematic aspect of capital punishment. The UN has repeatedly criticized the US judiciary system for applying the death penalty to mentally ill people, which is against the established international standards. Apparently, other developed countries adopted life imprisonment as an alternative to capital punishment.
Mental retardation appears to be incompatible with the principle of criminal responsibility. The largest American organizations working with mentally ill people condemn the execution of mentally-ill people, characterizing them as individuals with diminished culpability. Miscarriage of justice is likely to happen during trials of mentally retarded individuals. Nevertheless, the tradition of judicial execution in the US is not about to terminate in the near future.
For an observer, execution of the mentally disabled is also controversial. If a mentally impaired individual has committed a really heinous crime, it can be difficult to condemn the most radical form of punishment. But we keep asking ourselves whether it is humane to sentence a person for death, especially if the criminal cannot control their actions or lacks judgment.
Analyzing the death penalty, more and more Americans agree that this practice shall be left behind. After all, it has an alternative that ensures both punishment and isolation of a criminal. It is a common opinion that the life sentence is not safe because it can be changed after a while. Nevertheless, the importance of adopting an alternative system of punishment for criminals irrespective of their mental state is required.