Thursday, May 21, 2020

Florida Supreme Court reverses itself on death-penalty issue | Miami Herald

Florida Supreme Court reverses itself on death-penalty issue | Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article242897781.html

Intelligence and Adaptive Behavior: A Meta-Analysis: School Psychology Review: Vol 0, No 0

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/2372966X.2020.1717374?journalCode=uspr20

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Kevin S. McGrew,  PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
www.themindhub.com
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Friday, May 8, 2020

Yet another Texas execution postponed, though purportedly not for COVID reasons https://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2020/05/yet-another-texas-execution-postponed-though-purportedly-not-for-covid-reasons.html

Yet another Texas execution postponed, though purportedly not for COVID reasons https://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2020/05/yet-another-texas-execution-postponed-though-purportedly-not-for-covid-reasons.html

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

In Case Permeated with Race Bias, Tennessee Plans to Execute Possibly Innocent and Intellectually Disabled Black Man in Murder of White Woman | Death Penalty Information Center

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/in-case-permeated-with-race-bias-tennessee-plans-to-execute-possibly-innocent-and-intellectually-disabled-black-man-in-murder-of-white-woman

Monday, March 23, 2020

Georgias Atkins death penalty op-ed

American Constitution Society
Georgia's Unconstitutional Standard for Determining Intellectual Disability in Death Penalty Cases
By Sara Totonchi, March 20, 2020
Executive Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights and member of ACS Georgia Chapter Board of Advisors

In 1986, the state of Georgia executed Jerome Bowden, a man with a full-scale IQ of 65. While Bowden was strapped to the electric chair, he thanked the prison for taking good care of him. State officials faced widespread criticism for the execution and vowed to ensure that the state would not execute a defendant with intellectual disability again. Two years later, the state passed a law prohibiting such executions.

It's shocking to think that since the passage of the law 32 years ago, there has never been a single finding of intellectual disability at a trial involving intentional murder in Georgia. There is a simple reason for this: Georgia is the only state in the country that requires capital defendants to prove their intellectual disability beyond a reasonable doubt.

Long after Georgia enacted its law, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of defendants with intellectual disability. However, Georgia's unique standard means that, notwithstanding the Court's decision in Atkins, the state still is doing just that. This unconstitutional practice has to stop. That is why our office, the Southern Center for Human Rights, along with the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, filed an amicus brief in Raulerson v. Warden, No. 19-941, urging the Court to invalidate Georgia's standard. As we explained in our brief, there are three primary reasons as to why the Court should declare Georgia's statute unconstitutional.

First, there has not been a single finding of intellectual disability at trial in a case involving intentional murder in Georgia. In the words of one Eleventh Circuit judge, Georgia's onerous statute "demands a level of certainty that medical experts simply cannot provide." Because of this, capital defendants in Georgia do not have a meaningful opportunity to prove that they fall within the scope of Atkins.

Second, Georgia does not impose this standard for intellectual disability in any other context. For instance, in the education context, a student can be placed into special education as long as a comprehensive evaluation indicates intellectual deficits. In the social services context, an individual is eligible for disability services if she receives a diagnosis of intellectual disability. In both instances, the evaluation conforms with accepted medical standards. Georgia imposes an unattainable standard for proving intellectual disability only in the death penalty context—when the stakes are the highest.

Finally, it is clear that Georgia is not going to amend its statute to conform with the Constitution's demands. The Georgia Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the statute as constitutional. And the Georgia Legislature has consistently resisted efforts to change the standard, including as recently as 2018. Legislators have recognized that Georgia is an outlier, but nothing will change unless the Supreme Court intervenes.

The Court has warned that, if states are permitted "to define intellectual disability as they wished, the Court's decision in Atkins could become a nullity, and the Eighth Amendment's protection of human dignity would not become a reality." Georgia has confirmed the Court's fear. Warren Hill could not prove his disability, even though every expert agreed that he was intellectually disabled. Hill was executed. Willie Palmer could not prove his disability, even though he struggled to put his shoes on the correct feet. Palmer remains on death row. And Billy Raulerson also could not prove his disability, even though testimony at his trial indicated that he functions at the level of a 12-year-old. Raulerson is now at risk of execution.

The state of Georgia has executed an individual with intellectual disability, and it will do so again so long as it employs its unconstitutional standard. The Court should grant certiorari in Raulerson and bring Georgia into compliance with the Constitution

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The factor structure of cognitive functioning in cognitively healthy participants: A meta-analysis and meta-analysis of individual participant data. - PsycNET

The factor structure of cognitive functioning in cognitively healthy participants: A meta-analysis and meta-analysis of individual participant data. - PsycNET
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-07834-001

The CHC model strikes again!!!

Citation

Agelink van Rentergem, J. A., de Vent, N. R., Schmand, B. A., Murre, J. M. J., Staaks, J. P. C., & Huizenga, H. M. (2020). The factor structure of cognitive functioning in cognitively healthy participants: A meta-analysis and meta-analysis of individual participant data. Neuropsychology Review. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11065-019-09423-6

Abstract

AbstractMany neuropsychologists are of the opinion that the multitude of cognitive tests may be grouped into a much smaller number of cognitive domains. However, there is little consensus on how many domains exist, what these domains are, nor on which cognitive tests belong to which domain. This incertitude can be solved by factor analysis, provided that the analysis includes a broad range of cognitive tests that have been administered to a very large number of people. In this article, two such factor analyses were performed, each combining multiple studies. However, because it was not possible to obtain complete multivariate data on more than the most common test variables in the field, not all possible domains were examined here. The first analysis was a factor meta-analysis of correlation matrices combining data of 60,398 healthy participants from 52 studies. Several models from the literature were fitted, of which a version based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model was found to describe the correlations better than the others. The second analysis was a factor analysis of the Advanced Neuropsychological Diagnostics Infrastructure (ANDI) database, combining scores of 11,881 participants from 54 Dutch and Belgian studies not included in the first meta-analysis. Again, the model fit was better for the CHC model than for other models. Therefore, we conclude that the CHC model best characterizes both cognitive domains and which test belongs to each domain. Therefore, although originally developed in the intelligence literature, the CHC model deserves more attention in neuropsychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)


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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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Friday, March 6, 2020

Procedural Challenge in Competency to Stand Trial Proceedings | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Procedural Challenge in Competency to Stand Trial Proceedings | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
http://jaapl.org/content/48/1/123?etoc

Brain Maturity and Sentence Severity | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Brain Maturity and Sentence Severity | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
http://jaapl.org/content/48/1/112?etoc



Thursday, March 5, 2020

Raulerson v. Warden - SCOTUSblog - Atkins petition

Raulerson v. Warden - SCOTUSblog
https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/raulerson-v-warden/

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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ethical Practice in Forensic Psychology: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals, Second Edition

Ethical Practice in Forensic Psychology: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals, Second Edition
https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4312028?tab=2&utm_campaign=apa_publishing&utm_medium=direct_email&utm_source=books&utm_content=newbookannouncement_ethicalpracticeinforensicpsyc_02242020&utm_term=text_middle_tableofcontents

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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Flawed science? Two efforts launched to improve scientific validity of psychological test evidence in court https://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2020/02/flawed-science-two-efforts-launched-to.html

Flawed science? Two efforts launched to improve scientific validity of psychological test evidence in court https://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2020/02/flawed-science-two-efforts-launched-to.html

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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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Psychological Assessments in Legal Contexts: Are Courts Keeping “Junk Science” Out of the Courtroom? - Tess M. S. Neal, Christopher Slobogin, Michael J. Saks, David L. Faigman, Kurt F. Geisinger, 2019

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1529100619888860

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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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SCOTUS for law students: The Supreme Court and the death penalty https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/02/scotus-for-law-students-the-supreme-court-and-the-death-penalty/

SCOTUS for law students: The Supreme Court and the death penalty https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/02/scotus-for-law-students-the-supreme-court-and-the-death-penalty/

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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

The predictive power of intelligence: Miranda abilities of individuals with intellectual disability.

https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2019-71844-001

The predictive power of intelligence: Miranda abilities of individuals with intellectual disability.
By Erickson, Sydnee L.,Salekin, Karen L.,Johnson, Lauren N.,Doran, Stephanie C.
Law and Human Behavior, Dec 02 , 2019, No Pagination Specified

Abstract

Objective: The Miranda v. Arizona (1966) decision was intended to protect individuals' rights in custodial situations. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate Miranda abilities of individuals with intellectual disability and evaluate the utility of intelligence in predicting these abilities. Additionally, we aimed to provide an updated resource for forensic examiners regarding the performance of individuals with intellectual disability on the Standardized Assessment of Miranda Abilities (SAMA). Hypotheses: We hypothesized that IQ, particularly verbal intelligence and working memory, would significantly predict abilities related to recall, vocabulary, knowledge, and acquiescence in a sample with intellectual disability. Method: Sixty-two individuals diagnosed with intellectual disability completed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–4th ed. (WAIS-IV), the SAMA, and a background questionnaire. Results: Participants demonstrated significantly worse Miranda abilities when compared to the normative sample of the SAMA apart from acquiescence, which they demonstrated at significantly higher rates. Participants exhibited limited existing knowledge of Miranda rights and showed minimal improvement following exposure to a Miranda warning. Verbal abilities were a significant predictor of recall and vocabulary abilities with large effect sizes on average (i.e., ds > 1). IQ was not predictive of misconceptions about Miranda or acquiescence. Conclusions: Verbal intelligence was an important contributor to understanding Miranda. This study provided data related to performance on the SAMA by a sample of individuals with intellectual disability. It may serve as a reference for evaluators, legal professionals, and law enforcement officers when working with justice-involved persons with suspected intellectual disability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

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Kevin S. McGrew,  PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
www.themindhub.com
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Recent hacked posts

Over the past few weeks some advertising posts somehow made it on to this blog.  Someone must have hacked the account.  I believe I have deleted all these advertisements from the blog.  Thanks again.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cohort differences on the CVLT-II and CVLT3: evidence of a negative Flynn effect on the attention/working memory and learning trials: The Clinical Neuropsychologist: Vol 0, No 0

This will be added to the Flynn effect reference project document when it is next updated.

Cohort differences on the CVLT-II and CVLT3: evidence of a negative Flynn effect on the attention/working memory and learning trials: The Clinical Neuropsychologist: Vol 0, No 0
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13854046.2019.1699605


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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
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Friday, December 6, 2019

Evaluating Intellectual Disability after the Moore v. Texas Redux | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law


http://jaapl.org/content/47/4/486


Abstract

This article reviews the history of the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on intellectual disability in capital cases, highlighting the difficulty states have had in devising a workable definition that meets constitutional standards. The Court's decisions in Penry v. Lynaugh (1989), Atkins v. Virginia (2002), and Hall v. Florida (2014) are briefly summarized. Next, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' ruling in Ex parte Briseno (2004) is discussed as a prelude to the Supreme Court's decision in Moore v. Texas I (2017). On remand, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals interpreted the Supreme Court's Moore I ruling in a manner that resulted in finding Mr. Moore intellectually able, and therefore eligible for the death penalty, in Ex parte Moore II (2018). Finally, the importance of the Supreme Court's most recent ruling on intellectual disability in capital cases, Moore v. Texas II (2019), is explored in depth. The article concludes with recommendations for best practices among forensic evaluators who assess capital defendants for intellectual disability.


Sent from my iPhone

Variations in reliability and validity do not influence judge, attorney, and mock juror decisions about psychological expert evidence. - PsycNET

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-55518-001

Citation

Chorn, J. A., & Kovera, M. B. (2019). Variations in reliability and validity do not influence judge, attorney, and mock juror decisions about psychological expert evidence. Law and Human Behavior, 43(6), 542–557. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000345

Abstract

Objective: We tested whether the reliability and validity of psychological testing underlying an expert's opinion influenced judgments made by judges, attorneys, and mock jurors. Hypotheses: We predicted that the participants would judge the expert's evidence more positively when it had high validity and high reliability. Method: In Experiment 1, judges (N = 111) and attorneys (N = 95) read a summary of case facts and proffer of expert testimony on the intelligence of a litigant. The psychological testing varied in scientific quality; either there was (a) blind administration (i.e., the psychologist did not have an expectation for the test result) of a highly reliable test, (b) nonblind administration (i.e., the psychologist did have an expectation for the test result) of a highly reliable test, or (c) blind administration of a test with low reliability. In a trial simulation (Experiment 2), we varied the scientific quality of the intelligence test and whether the cross-examination addressed the scientific quality of the test. Results: The variations in scientific quality did not influence judges' admissibility decisions nor their ratings of scientific quality nor did it influence attorneys' decisions about whether to move to exclude the evidence. Attorneys' ratings of scientific quality were sensitive to variations in reliability but not the testing conditions. Scientifically informed cross-examinations did not help mock jurors (N = 192) evaluate the validity or the reliability of a psychological test. Conclusion: Cross-examination was an ineffective method for educating jurors about problems associated with nonblind testing and reliability, which highlights the importance of training judges to evaluate the quality of expert evidence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)


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Kevin S. McGrew,  PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
www.themindhub.com
************************************************

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Meta-analysis of relation between WCST and IQ

https://res.mdpi.com/d_attachment/brainsci/brainsci-09-00349/article_deploy/brainsci-09-00349.pdf

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Kevin S. McGrew,  PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
www.themindhub.com
************************************************

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Ethnic adjustment abuses in forensic assessment of intellectual abilities. - PsycNET

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-61762-001

Within the past few years, courts have been more open to accepting evidence of psychological research. For instance, in 2002, the United States Supreme Court, citing an American Psychological Association (APA) Amicus brief, declared that the execution of mentally retarded individuals was unconstitutional because it violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Between 2005 and 2012, the Supreme Court accepted APA briefs describing the limitations in neural development of adolescents and its relevance to sentencing. In 2013, the Court ruled that in assessing an individual's intelligence there must be a consideration of the standard error of measurement. All of this suggested a progressive movement in judicial recognition of psychological research. However, during the same time, many courts were allowing and accepting testimony in capital sentencing cases of so-called ethnic adjustment. Some psychologists were testifying that defendants who were from ethnic minority groups had IQ scores that were suppressed and that therefore their scores had to be "adjusted" upward to compensate for the suppression. However, these adjustments were based purely on clinical judgment and did not reflect any empirical studies. As a result, several of these individuals who had their IQ scores adjusted have been executed. This article will describe the case law surrounding this concept, ethical issues that it raises, and how a practitioner can provide useful consultation to attorneys who represent defendants in such cases. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

After Being Reversed Twice, Texas Appeals Court Takes Intellectually Disabled Prisoner Off Death Row

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/after-being-reversed-twice-texas-appeals-court-takes-intellectually-disabled-prisoner-off-death-row

Atkins Court Decisions: A bunch to update from FL and OK


I have been WAYYYYYYYY behind in posting recent Atkins court decisions and related documents.  Here I post info regarding a number of cases, without comment.  Click on each to access PDF files.

Bowles (2019, FL)

Harris (2019, OK)

Sharpe (2019, OK)

Smith (2019, OK)

Walls (2019, FL; one, two).  More info here.

Atkins Court Decision: TX CCA Commutes Bobby Moore’s Death Sentence in Intellectual Disability Case



After iterating through the courts for years, the Atkins case of Bobby Moore, which had the Texas Briseno factors as a core issue, has been settled.

Click here for news story.  Here is another news story link.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Forensic Clinicians' Understanding of Bias (MacLean et al., 2019)


Abstract

Bias, or systematic influences that create errors in judgment, can affect psychological evaluations in ways that lead to erroneous diagnoses and opinions. Although these errors can have especially serious consequences in the criminal justice system, little research has addressed forensic psychologists' awareness of well-known cognitive biases and debiasing strategies. We conducted a national survey with a sample of 120 randomly selected licensed psychologists with forensic interests to examine (a) their familiarity with and understanding of cognitive biases, (b) their self-reported strategies to mitigate bias, and (c) the relation of a and b to psychologists' cognitive reflection abilities. Most psychologists reported familiarity with well-known biases and distinguished these from sham biases and reported using research-identified strategies but not fictional or sham strategies. However, some psychologists reported little familiarity with actual biases, endorsed sham biases as real, failed to recognize effective bias mitigation strategies, and endorsed ineffective bias mitigation strategies. Furthermore, nearly everyone endorsed introspection (a strategy known to be ineffective) as an effective bias mitigation strategy. Cognitive reflection abilities were systematically related to error, such that stronger cognitive reflection was associated with less endorsement of sham biases.

Keywords: bias, forensic evaluation, survey, cognitive reflection

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Digit Span Subscale Scores May Be Insufficiently Reliable for Clinical Interpretation: Distinguishing Between Stratified Coefficient Alpha and Omega Hierarchical - Gilles E. Gignac, Matthew R. Reynolds, Kristof Kovacs, 2019



Digit Span Subscale Scores May Be Insufficiently Reliable for Clinical Interpretation: Distinguishing Between Stratified Coefficient Alpha and Omega Hierarchical - Gilles E. Gignac, Matthew R. Reynolds, Kristof Kovacs, 2019
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1073191117748396

Sent from Flipboard


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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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