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In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute people with mental disabilities. But the Court left it up to individual states to define mentally disabled. After the Texas legislature failed to agree on a definition, a decision from the Court of Criminal Appeals became the de facto definition, a definition based in part on John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men.

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In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute people with mental disabilities. But the Court left it up to individual states to define mentally disabled. After the Texas legislature failed to agree on a definition, a decision from the Court of Criminal Appeals became the de facto definition, a definition based in part on John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men.

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