Judges consider Ga. execution standard

ATLANTA (AP) - The full federal appeals court is set to hear a death penalty case that could impact the fate of condemned inmates on Georgia's death row.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday will review a ruling by a three-judge panel that struck down a Georgia law that required capital defendants to prove beyond a reasonable doubt they are mentally retarded to avoid execution.

Georgia became the first state in 1988 that banned the execution of mentally retarded inmates.

It also is the only state in the country that requires defendants to prove they are mentally retarded beyond a reasonable doubt, the most stringent legal standard.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.