Fact Sheet

VASMIE fact sheet on the SMI exclusion



Bill to ban death penalty for severely mentally ill clears GOP-controlled Va. Senate

The Washington Post (January 17, 2019)


Ban on execution of mentally ill moves forward in Virginia Senate

Publication: The Daily Press (January 14, 2019)


It’s cruel but not unusual for Virginia to execute the seriously mentally ill

By Paul O’Shea

The Blue View (June 15, 2018)


Stop Executing the Severely Mentally Ill

By Dale M. Brumfield

Bacon’s Rebellion Op-Ed (January 3, 2018)


Death Penalty for Mentally Ill Defendants?

By Damien Cabezas & Rhonda Thissen

Lynchburg News and Advance Op-Ed (December 17, 2017)


No solace in executing mentally ill killers

By Rachel A. Sutphin

Bristol Herald Courier Op-Ed (November 30, 2017)

Gov. McAuliffe made an irreversible mistake

By Gene Rossi and Edward J. Ungvarsky

The Washington Post Op-Ed (July 21, 2017)

Executing a severely mentally ill man would be an injustice

By Nicholas Cote

The Washington Post Op-Ed (June 16, 2017)

A Veteran’s Plea: Stop Executing People with Severe Mental Illness

By Dr. Frederick J. Frese, III, Ph.D.

Medium Op-Ed (June 12, 2017)
There ought to be a death penalty exemption for the seriously mentally ill

By Liza Long

Idaho Stateman Op-Ed (April 19, 2017)

Does the U.S Mentally Ill Americans Be Executed?  It’s Complicated

By Shaila Dewan

New York Times (April 11, 2017)

End the death penalty for mentally ill criminals

By Bob Taft and Joseph E. Kernan

Washington Post Op-Ed (March 24, 2017)

An act of compassion for the mentally ill

By Rev. Richard Cizik

Virginian-Pilot Op-Ed (January 29, 2017)

Severe Mental Illness and the Death Penalty

By Michael E. Stone

Jefferson Policy Journal (January 4, 2017)

Severe mental illness and Virginia’s death penalty

By Brandon L. Garrett

Richmond Times-Dispatch Op-Ed (December 3, 2016)

Virginia must reform its approach to the death penalty and mental illness

By Dale Brumfield

Richmond Times-Dispatch Op-Ed (September 3, 2016)


American Bar Association Mental Illness Resolution (2006)

American Psychological Association (January 2007)

Mental Health America: Death Penalty and People with Mental Illnesses (2011)

National Alliance on Mental Illness


Serious Mental Illness Among U.S. Adults, National Institute of Mental Health (2014)

Mental Health Issues among Adults and Adolescents, National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2014), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Virginia Death Penalty Assessment Report (2013) – Recommendation in support of a severe mental illness exemption

Double Tragedies: Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty For People with Severe Mental Illness, National Alliance on Mental Illness (2009)

Battle Scars: Military Veterans and the Death Penalty, Death Penalty Information Center (2015)

The Execution of Mentally Ill Offenders, Amnesty International (2006)


Severe mental illness exemption legislation proposed in the 2017 General Assembly:

  • Legislative history

  • Copy of bill

  • Fiscal Impact Statement

Severe mental illness exemption legislation proposed in the 2016 General Assembly:

  • Legislative history

  • Copy of bill