Twelve years after banning the execution of the "mentally retarded," the U.S. Supreme Court is examining the question of who qualifies as having mental retardation, for purposes of capital cases, and who does not.
In 2002, the high court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing "mentally retarded" people is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. But the justices left it to the states to define mental retardation.
Now the court is focusing on what limits, if any, there are to those definitions.
"The United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder has told his Russian counterpart in a letter about the "NSA leaker" who remains in legal limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.