Friday, November 9, 2018
Law Review Article: Intellectual Disability in Capital Cases: Adjusting State Statutes After Moore v. Texas
Another new Atkins related law review article available here.
In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of intellectually disabled inmates violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment. Twelve years later in Hall v. Florida (2014), the Court revisited its Atkins decision to provide further clarification on how states should assess intellectual disability. This article examines Moore v. Texas (2017), the latest development in the Court's rulings on capital determinations of intellectual disability. It also reviews state statutes and court cases from the thirty-one death penalty states to determine how they comport with the Court's Moore ruling. These statutes and cases shed light on issues with respect to intellectual disability in capital trials that the Court has yet to address. The article concludes with model language to help states make their capital punishment protocols constitutional, so that the intellectually disabled remain free from execution.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
This study will be added to the Flynn Effect Archive Project the next time it is update.
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Law Review Article: Evaluating Intellectual Disability: Clinical Assessments in Atkins Cases (Ellis et al., 2018)
This new law review article is, IMHO, the best overview article regarding the history of ID, the legal issues in Atkins cases, and good discussion of the major conceptual and measurement issues found in many Atkins cases. An excellent introduction to ID issues in Atkins cases.
EVALUATING INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: CLINICAL ASSESSMENTS IN ATKINS CASES
James W. Ellis, Caroline Everington, Ann M. Delpha
The intersection of intellectual disability and the death penalty is now clearly established. Both under the U.S. Supreme Court's constitutional decisions and under the terms of many state statutes, individual defendants who have that disability cannot be sentenced to death or executed. It now falls to trial, appellate, and post-conviction courts to determine which individual criminal defendants are entitled to the law's protection. This Article attempts to assist judges in performing that task. After a brief discussion of the Supreme Court's decisions in Atkins v. Virginia, Hall v. Florida, and Moore v. Texas, it analyzes the component parts and terminology of the clinical definition of intellectual disability. It then offers more detailed discussion of a number of the clinical issues that arise frequently in adjudicating these cases. For each of these issues, the Article's text and the accompanying notes attempt to provide judges with a thorough survey of the relevant clinical literature, and an explanation of the terminology used by clinical professionals. Our purpose is to help those judges to become more knowledgeable consumers of the clinical reports and expert testimony presented to them in individual cases, and to help them reach decisions that are consistent with what the clinical literature reveals about the nature of intellectual disability and best professional practices in the diagnostic process.
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