Sunday, October 31, 2010

iPost: Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

CrimProf Blog
are here. The usual disclaimers apply. Rank Downloads Paper Title 1 200 The Diplomacy of Universal Jurisdiction: The Regulating Role of the Political Branches in the Transnational Prosecution of International Crimes Maximo Langer, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) -...
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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Research brief: Global support for the death penalty?

Unnever, J. (2010). Global support for the death penalty. Punishment & Society International Journal of Penology, 12(4), 463-484.


The recently released Gallup International 2000 Millennium Survey Poll collected data from individuals residing in 59 countries. The focus of this research was to analyze these data to examine whether the abolition movement has ushered in a new ‘collective sensibility’ about the death penalty or whether global attitudes toward capital punishment are characterized by deep divisions. The research assumes that the long-term stability of abolition will be assured when the vast majority of the citizens of the world oppose the use of the death penalty. The findings reveal that there are deep cleavages in worldwide support for capital punishment. The article highlights five divides in support for capital punishment and then separately discusses the results from the human rights and minority group threat analyses.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

iPost: Robinson on LWOP and Modern Theories of Punishment

CrimProf Blog
Paul H. Robinson (University of Pennsylvania Law School) has posted 'Life Without Parole' Under Modern Theories of Punishment on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Life without parole seems an attractive and logical punishment under the modern coercive crime-control principles of...
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Dr. Detterman's Intelligence Bytes: Why do we often fail to recognize the full range of differences in human intelligence?

Another in the Dr. Detterman's Intelligence Bytes series

The study of human intelligence is the study of differences among people. Few
realize what considerable differences in human ability there are. This unawareness is probably due to at least three reasons. First, we are seldom exposed to the full range of human ability. Societies are probably more segregated by intelligence than by any other characteristic. There are few places where the full range of ability is observable. In their daily life, most people are exposed to people who have intellectual ability very similar to their own. There are also few situations where a person can actually gauge the intelligence of others. Most of life's situations do not require the application of intelligence to any substantial or observable degree.

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Research brief: Cultural and Linguistic Matrix (C-LIM) method for interpreting cognitive test data has limited supporting empirical evidence

Kranzler, J., Flores, C., & Coady, M. (2010). Examination of the Cross-Battery Approach for the Cognitive Assessment of Children and Youth From Diverse Linguistic and Cultural Backgrounds. School Psychology Review; 2010, 39(3), 431-446,


Flanagan, Ortiz, and Alfonso (2007) recently developed the Culture-Language Interpretive Matrices (C-LIMs) for the cognitive assessment of children and youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. To examine the utility of this new approach, we administered the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities to a sample of students receiving English as a second language services in public school settings who had not been referred for special education services. Results of within-subjects analyses of the predicted effects of linguistic demand and of cultural loading on subtest scores in the C-LIM were nonsignificant. Although a statistically significant (decreasing) trend was observed for the effect of linguistic demand and cultural loading combined, post hoc analyses revealed that this finding was attributable to a significantly higher score on one subtest and did not reflect significant differences among all three subtests in this contrast. Moreover, only 13% of the sample had a pattern of test scores that was consistent with Flanagan et al.'s C-LIM predictions of the pattern of subtest scores predicted for children and youth from diverse backgrounds. In sum, results of our study suggest that further research is needed to substantiate the use of C-LIMs for diagnostic purposes with diverse populations.

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Humor break

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

iPost: Redding & Murrie on Judicial Decision Making About Forensic Mental Health Evidence

CrimProf Blog
Richard E. Redding (pictured) and Daniel C. Murrie (Chapman University - School of Law and affiliation not provided to SSRN) have posted Judicial Decision Making About Forensic Mental Health Evidence (SPECIAL TOPICS IN FORENSIC PRACTICE, Chapter 26, p. 683, 2010)...
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Court Decision: Schoenwetter v FL (2010) - an attempt to leap the Atkins "slippery slope"

Here is a very interesting attempt to move the "slippery slope" of Atkins a long way---more of an attempt to leap the entire slope in one huge step.

The case is Schoenwetter v FL (2010). This was a combination case - an appeal and a separate petition for a state writ of habeas corpus. The relevant discussion begins on page 49. Schoenwetter argued that under both Atkins and Roper, that his execution would be unconstitutional. Based on a quick skim there would appear to be two obvious problems. First he wasn't under 18 (Roper decision) at the time of the crime. Second his Full Scale IQ was 123---50+ IQ points above the generally accepted MR/ID cut score of 70 (plus or minus 5 pts for SEM). This might be the highest IQ-Atkins claim seen to date.

Schoenwetter apparently suffered from Asperger's, ADHD and some type of frontal lobe brain dysfunction. But, as with the other cases that have attempted to morph Atkins to some other condition(s), the court rejected the argument.

I will be adding this case to the ICDP Court Decisions blogroll, along with a few others I've promised, this morning. Thanks again to Kevin Foley for forwarding this very interesting decision to my attention.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Court Decision: Lewis v Thaler (TX,2010)--an update

An update (without comment) regarding Rickey Lewis case in Texas that was blogged about previously. On 10-19-10 his Atkins motion was denied. Court Decisions blogroll will be updated in the next few days.

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iPost: Podcast of John Temple author of "The Last Lawyer"

John Temple (@johntemplebooks)
10/26/10 6:58 PM
Podcast of recent appearance on WYEP in Pittsburgh:

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Court Decision: Ramirez v Ryan (AZ, 2010)---follow up FYI

In the previous "So close, yet so far away--Or how the burden of proof matters" guest post by Kevin Foley the Atkins case of Ramirez v AZ raised a number of significant issues such as IQ practice effects, the Flynn effect, the burden of proof, preponderance of the evidence standard, etc (see prior post for more details). 

This past month a decision was made in the Ramirez v Ryan (AZ, 2010) federal habeas corpus case in the  Arizona District Court.  The decision outlines the complexity of a number of interesting and recurring issues (e.g., the Flynn Effect; practice effect) in Atkins cases, and the difficulty possed to the courts by dueling experts with differing opinions.    Due to a lack of time I will not make any additional comments.  This is an FYI post.

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CHC theory tipping point passed: Inroads in mainstream intelligence research

In 2005 I unilaterally claimed that the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities had reached the "tipping point" in school psychology--it had become the consensus psychometric framework from which new intelligence tests are developed, old ones are revised, and non-CHC batteries are analyzed. Later in 2007 I again revisited my "tipping point" claim by analyzing the use of keywords in the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) general service listserv. At that time I concluded that the actual tipping point occurred (in school psychology) sometime between 2001 and 2003.

Today I decided to see if the school psychology CHC tipping point had spilled over and gained traction in more mainstream psychology. In particular, I was interested in how often the terms "CHC" or "Cattell-Horn-Carroll" were present in articles in THE premiere journal outlet for the heavy hitters in the field of intelligence research--the journal Intelligence.

So...I went to the journal's web page and used the above two terms/phrases and asked for a search of "all fields" for the journal. Below is what I found.

Prior to 2004 there was NOT ONE article in Intelligence that mentioned CHC or Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory. However, since 2004 there have been at least 21 publications that reference this model of intelligence.

It is my opinion that CHC theory clearly reached a tipping point somewhere between 2001-2003 and it is now making strong inroads as one of the most supported models of the structure of human intelligence in the field of intelligence research.

Don't you just love good data? [If the images below look small--double click on them and they should eventually become larger in your browser]

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Court Decision: Smith v TN (2010)

Still "cleanin' out my in box."

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals rendered a very interesting (perplexing?) ruling recently. I only had time for a quick skim. With that caveat, the decision for Leonard Smith is available here. I will add it to the ICDP Court Decisions blog roll in the next day or so. Thanks again to the ever diligent Kevin Foley for sending this one my way.

Of interest is how the post conviction relief court dealt with a large number of IQ scores from ages 14 thru adulthood---tests that varied from comprehensive intelligence batteries to tests that were quick and limited screening instruments. Present in the document are the following scores. Those based on a comprehensive intellectual battery are designated by asterisks

1975 WISC 80*
1975 Ammons Quick Test 70
1976 Ammons Quick Test 84
1980 Un-named (prison) 88
1984 PPVT 86
1989 WAIS-R 75*
2001 WAIS-III 77*
2002 WAIS- III 65*

One troubling statement is on page 51:

Specifically, the post-conviction court rejected the IQ scores achieved by [Smith] during his adult years and, apparently referencing the performance IQ achieved in 1975 when he was fourteen years of age, concluded that ‘testing preformed before the ate of eighteen reflects a functional I.Q. of 85.’”

Although there are individual cases were a component or sub-score index score may be the best estimate of a person's general level of intellectual functioning, in general, the overall "full scale" IQ should always be given first priority consideration in Atkins cases. I am baffled that given four different Wechsler Full Scale IQ scores a decision was made to "cherry pick" the Performance Scale IQ of 85 from the WISC administered when Smith was a teenager. How can all the adult scores simply be dismissd without an explanation?

In addition, the appeals court rejected the concepts of the standard error of measurement (SEM) and norm obsolescence (aka, the Flynn Effect) and stuck with the states supreme court and acknowledged, that by taking this approach, persons with MR/ID will be executed in Tennessee. Hmmmm? Atkins claim denied.

In the end, though, Smith got some relief based on his trial attorneys failure to get a judge recused.

Strange twists and turns.

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Attempt at restoration-to-competence for an Atkins death penalty case--Floyd Brown story

The following information regarding the capital case of Floyd Brown has been sitting in my "to post" inbox for months. I am posting it now as an FYI post...without much in the way of comment. Thanks again to Kevin Foley, a regular guest blogger for ICDP, for bringing the case and related materials to the attention of the ICDP blog.

Floyd Brown is an individual from North Carolina with /MRID who languished in state custody for 14 years "awaiting" doctors' efforts to render him competent to stand trial, and once deemed competent, his trial on murder charges. The story was partially detailed in a story in the Charlotte Observer.

The case highlights the issue of whether someone who is not competent to stand trial due to significant cognitive disabilities can ever be made competent through restoration-of-competency programs. I am not aware of any empirical research that has addressed restoration-of-competency programs with individuals with MR/ID. If any readers are aware of any such literature, please let the blogmaster know.

For those who want additional facts that were not reported by the newspaper a copy of a complaint filed by Brown's guardian can be found by clicking here. The complaint notes that Brown consistently obtained IQ scores in the mid-50's or less (para. 11) and while in school he was in Trainable MR (TMR) classes (para. 13). He was found to be not competent to stand trial on misdemeanor charges in 1991. (para. 206). He was found to be ID and exempt from the death penalty under Atkins. (para. 83)

In June, the states insurance company filed a suit in federal court hoping to have the court say the insurer is not responsible under its policies.

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iPost: From DPIC: New Atlantic Center for Capital Representation

DPIC (@DPInfoCtr)
10/25/10 4:35 PM
NEW RESOURCES: The Atlantic Center for Capital Representation #deathpenalty

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

French WAIS III study supports primary Gq interpretation of Arithmetic in adults

Interesting study with French WAIS III that provides additional support for quantitative knowledge (Gq) being the primary source of variance in understanding the Arithmetic subtest, as well as some processing speed (Gs) in adults. Click here for prior post on this topic.

Rozencwajg, P., Schaeffer, O., & Lefebvre, V. (2010). Arithmetic and aging: Impact of quantitative knowledge and processing speed. Learning and Individual Differences, 20(5), 452-458.


The main objective of this study was to examine how quantitative knowledge (Gq in the CHC model) and processing speed (Gs in the CHC model) affect scores on the WAIS-III Arithmetic Subtest (Wechsler, 2000) with aging. Two age groups were compared: 30 young adults and 25 elderly adults. For both age groups, Gq was an important predictor of Arithmetic score variance (R² = 48% and R² = 45%, respectively). However, in line with Salthouse, the results showed that processing speed predicted Arithmetic scores only for the older adults, not for the younger ones (additional 9% of the variance for the elderly vs. 1% of the variance for the young adults). These results can clarify the ambiguous evolution of Arithmetic scores with aging: Arithmetic performance with aging seems to follow an intermediate path between Gc and Gf. This suggests that both Gq and Gs have an impact on Arithmetic in aging.

Additional quotes from the article

Today, “the CHC model (Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory of cognitive abilities) used extensively in applied psychometrics and intelligence testing during the past decade is a consensus model” (McGrew, 2005, p. 149). CHC is a hierarchical model (Fig. 1) with three strata: factor g (Stratum III), broad abilities (Stratum II), and narrow abilities (Stratum I). Broad CHC abilities (Stratum II) include Gf (fluid intelligence/reasoning), Gc (crystallized intelligence/knowledge), Gv (visual–spatial abilities), Gsm (short-term memory), Gs (cognitive processing speed), and Gq (quantitative knowledge). [Click on images to enlarge them]

In contemporary assessments of intelligence (Flanagan & Harrison, 2005), the Cattell–Horn–Carroll Theory (CHC model) plays an important role in interpreting the scores underlying the Wechsler Scale Subtests. There is some controversy, however, as to the constructs measured by each subtest. As stated above, authors disagree on how to classify Arithmetic in this model.

The first hypothesis tested here concerns the role of quantitative knowledge (Gq) in Arithmetic Subtest performance. Gq has been defined as the wealth (breadth and depth) of a person's “acquired store of declarative and procedural quantitative knowledge. Gq is largely acquired through the ‘investment’ of other abilities, primarily during formal educational experiences. It is important to recognize that RQ (narrow ability, Stratum I), which is the ability to reason inductively and deductively when solving quantitative problems, is not included under Gq, but rather is included in the Gf domain (broad ability, Stratum II). Gq represents an individual's store of acquired mathematical knowledge, not reasoning with this knowledge” (McGrew, 2005, p. 156).

Yet when we look at the performance curve with age (see Fig. 2), we can see firstly that the mean scores on Digit Span (Gsm) and Matrix Reasoning – which is a typical test of fluid intelligence (Gf) ([Schroeder and Salthouse, 2004] and [Verhaeghen, 2003]); – start to decline gradually at the age of 25, whereas the mean score on Arithmetic remains stable until age 70. Secondly, the mean score on Vocabulary – which is a typical test of crystallized intelligence (Gc) (Verhaeghen, 2003) – is close to the teenage level (age 16) after the age of 70, whereas performance drops well below that level on Arithmetic. Analyses of age effects on the WAIS-III subtests among American subjects indicate the same phenomena ([Ardila, 2007] and [Ryan et al., 2000]). Finally, Arithmetic performance with aging seems to follow an intermediate path between Gc and Gf (see Fig. 3). This result is similar to that found by Schroeder and Salthouse (2004), see their [Fig. 1] and [Fig. 2] p. 399 and 400): “All the factors were also influenced by knowledge (vocabulary), with the largest knowledge effects on the numeric/fluency factor” (p. 400).

.....the high correlations obtained between the scores on the Arithmetic Subtest and the new quantitative test, both for the young and older adults, support the hypothesis that the Arithmetic Subtest belongs to factor Gq in the CHC model ([Flanagan and Harrison, 2005] and [Flanagan and Kaufman, 2004])

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Research brief: Cognitive aging and the Flynn Effect

Dickinson, M. D., & Hiscock, M. (2010). Age-related IQ decline is reduced markedly after adjustment for the Flynn effect. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32(8), 865-870.


Twenty-year-olds outperform 70-year-olds by as much as 2.3 standard deviations (35 IQ points) on subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). We show that most of the difference can be attributed to an intergenerational rise in IQ known as the Flynn effect. Normative data from different versions of the WAIS enabled us to estimate the degree to which the Flynn effect, rather than age-related decline, contributes to differences between 20- and 70-year-olds. The Flynn effect accounted for 38-67% of the apparent age-related decline on 6 of the 11 subtests. On the other 5 subtests, all of which are categorized as verbal, the Flynn effect was larger than the age-group difference. For these verbal subtests, the Flynn effect masked a modest increase in ability as individuals grow older. Overall, the Flynn effect accounted for at least 85% of the disparity between 20- and 70-year-olds.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

iPost: Impossible to predict in capital cases

Not directly related to Atkins cases but this story does touch on issues of the accuracy of some psychological prediction methods and possible "voodoo psychometrics" that sadly do occur in mental health court testimony from time to time 

The Justice Gambit
In his decades working as a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Coons of Austin has testified at dozens of death penalty trials across Texas in which he opined about how defendants would behave in the future.

Read more.... 

Dr. Coons is in a situation similar to Dr. Grigson (a.k.a Dr. Death). Grigson was expelled from the APA for ethics violations. Grigson concluded in the case of Randal Dale Adams that Adams would kill again if released from prison. The only problem with this predication was that Adams had never killed anyone in the first place. He was exonerated and released from Texas Death Row after serving nearly 10 years.

The bottom line is that it is impossible to accurately predict future dangerousness. The American Psychiatric Association filed amicus briefs that noted

Psychiatrists should not be permitted to offer a prediction concerning the long-term future dangerousness of a defendant in a capital case, at least in those circumstances where the psychiatrist purports to be testifying as a medical expert possessing predictive expertise in this area. Although psychiatric assessments may permit shortterm predictions of violent or assaultive behavior, medical knowledge has simply not advanced to the point where long-term predictions -- the type of testimony at issue in this case - -may be made with even reasonable accuracy. The large body of research in this area indicates that, even under the best of conditions, psychiatric predictions of long-term future dangerousness are wrong in at least two out of every three cases.
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iPost: Slobogin on Psychological Syndromes and Criminal Responsibility

More info at CrimProf Blog below. 

CrimProf Blog
Christopher Slobogin (Vanderbilt Law School) has posted Psychological Syndromes and Criminal Responsibility on SSRN. Here is the abstract: These two papers both focus on the intersection of the law of evidence with criminal responsibility doctrine, using as a springboard my...
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iPost: AAIDD annual 2011 conference call for papers

The call for papers for the next AAIDD annual conference is now out and can be found at link below. The conference will be in my backyard (Minneapolis MN) in 2011.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

iPost: Jonakait on the Original Meaning of Reasonable Doubt and Other Procedural Rights

From the CrimProf on link below for story and other links

CrimProf Blog
Randolph N. Jonakait (New York Law School) has posted Finding the Original Meaning of American Criminal Procedure Rights: Lessons from Reasonable Doubt's Development on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Lessons can be learned about finding the original meaning of American...
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Law Review Article: The racial geography of the death penalty (Cohen, 2010)

The above titled law review article has now been added to the Law Review Article blogroll at this blog.


Scholars have devoted substantial attention to both the overrepresentation of black defendants on federal
death row and the disproportionate number of federal defendants charged capitally for the murder of white victims. This
attention has not explained (much less resolved) these disquieting racial disparities. Little research has addressed the unusual geography of the federal death penalty, in which a small number of jurisdictions are responsible for the vast
majority of federal death sentences. By addressing the unique geography, we identify a possible explanation for the
racial distortions in the federal death penalty: that federal death sentences are sought disproportionately where the
expansion of the venire from the county to the district level has a dramatic demographic impact on the racial make-up of
the jury. This inquiry demonstrates that the conversation concerning who should make up the jury of twelve neighbors
and peers - a discussion begun well before the founding of our Constitution - continues to have relevance today. This
Article documents the historical and racial relationships between place and the ability to seat an impartial jury. We then
discuss the unique impact demographic shifts in the jury pool have on death penalty decision making. Finally, we
propose three possible solutions: (1) a simple, democracy-enhancing fix through a return to the historical conception of
the county as the place of vicinage in federal capital trials; (2) a Batson-type three-step process for rooting out the
influence of race on the decision to prosecute federally; and/or (3) voluntary measures by the Attorney General to mask
demographic and location identifiers when deciding whether to provide federal death-authorization. We explain why a
return to county-level jury pools in federal capital cases (whether through statutory construction, legislative change, or
through the authority of a fair-minded Attorney General) prospectively limits the impact of race on the operation of the
federal death penalty, without establishing the intractability of the federal death penalty as a whole. Finally, we observe
that any effort to study the federal death penalty cannot merely address those federal cases in which the Attorney
General has considered whether to approve an effort to seek the death penalty, but must also include an assessment of
the cases prosecuted in state court that could be prosecuted federally and the prosecutorial decision concerning when
and whether to prosecute in federal court.

iPost: How and how much does lawyering impact sentencing outcomes?

Story at link below

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Monday, October 18, 2010

iPost: SCOTUS will not hear Hall v Thaler (TX)

stanfordlaw (@stanfordlaw)
10/18/10 6:15 PM
RT @AP_Courtside: Supreme Court won't review case of Texas death row inmate who may be mentally impaired:

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iPost: Habeas, Pro and Con (Dripps)

Story at CrimProf Blog link below

CrimProf Blog
For a truly excellent debate about federal habeas for state prisoners, compare Joseph L. Hoffman & Nancy J. King, Rethinking the Federal Role in State Criminal Justice, 84 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 791, 818-33 (2009) with John H. Blume, Sheri Lyn...
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ICDP blog status - weekly hit stats

Thanks to all the new visitors and the regular readers of this humble blog.  Keep spreading the word to others.

Subject: GoStats: weekly stats

Hello, Kevin McGrew.

Site: "Intellectual Competence & Death Penalty" [ ]

Total counter state:

   Hits:         44093
   Hosts:        14973
   Visitors:     22636
   Sessions:     27794

From the beginning of the month:

   Hits:         1161
   Hosts:        438
   Visitors:     731
   Sessions:     836
   New Visitors: 624

Last week:

   Hits:         525
   Hosts:        260
   Visitors:     363
   Sessions:     385
   New Visitors: 285


iPost: How Neuroscience Is Changing the Law | Going Mental | Big Think

Story at link below

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

iPost: Gruber on a Distributive Theory of Criminal Law

CrimProf Blog
Aya Gruber (University of Colorado Law School) has posted A Distributive Theory of Criminal Law (William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 52, No. 1, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: In criminal law circles, the accepted wisdom is that...
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Law Review Article: Finality, habeas, innocence, and the death penalty: Can justice be done?


NAME: Ellyde Roko


In 1995, Judge Betty Binns Fletcher posed a question: In the context of the death penalty, can justice be done? She did not answer the question at the time. However, an examination of the procedural hurdles now facing condemned inmates seeking review of claims of constitutional violations suggests the answer is no. Too often courts, including the Supreme Court, have favored finality over fairness, elevating strict adherence to procedural rules over the responsibility to make sure justice is done. Nowhere is the problem clearer than in the arena of actual innocence, where the failure to consider a condemned inmate's claim on the merits could lead to the execution of an innocent person

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

iPost: Charles Lane on the Death Penalty

Another new book on the death penalty. This is an FYI post with no comment either way. I have not read this book nor do I have a copy. Info at link below

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Dr. Detterman's intelligence bytes: The study of human intelligence as a social science success story

One of the leading scholars and role models in the field of intelligence research is Dr. Doug Detterman. Recently I was honored to review a number of chapters of a major book on intelligence he is writing. I was extremely impressed with the readability of the draft. It will serve as an excellent and comprehensive introduction to the wide-ranging field of human intelligence.

I recently asked Dr. Detterman if I could make a series of posts of select quotes from his draft manuscript. Being the obvious educator he is, he was pleased to grant such permission. Thus, starting today I plan to make regular (as regular as I can....hopefully at least once a week) posts with intriguing or informative direct (brief) quotes from the draft chapters I have in my possession. This is the first in the series.

I have no financial interest in Dr. Detterman's book, but in the spirit of any possible "conflict of interest disclosure" I must mention that I received a very small honorarium to review sections of his book. My goal is simple - to allow readers to learn little tidbits in advance of this major work. From what I have read, most novices and experts in the field of intelligence will want to own this book once it reaches publication with a yet to be named publisher. Kudos to Dr. Detterman.

Below is the first paragraph in the draft "introduction" section.

Intelligence is the best-understood and most powerful variable in the social sciences. Sophisticated psychometric methods, developed largely for intelligence tests, are used to construct and assess modern tests. A substantial commercial industry has grown up around the development and sale of tests. Intelligence can be measured with better reliability than any other social science variable. Huge amounts of data have been collected using the tests and these data span the last century providing a database unavailable in most other areas in the social sciences. Data from individuals show strong relationships to many important social outcome measures including educational achievement, occupational success, income, and death, to name a few. The data collected also provide important information about the genetic, biological, and environmental origins of intelligence. Relationships at the country level have also been investigated showing that countries with higher mean IQs show a greater gross domestic product per person, are less religious, and show higher levels of democracy. In short, by any objective standard, intelligence is the social science success story of unrivaled proportions

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Dr. Detterman's intelligence bytes: On the history of IQ tests and theories

This is the second in the Dr. Doug Detterman's intelligence bytes. Below is a direct excerpt.

The point of view is simple to state: Intelligence tests arose because they filled a social need and still do. Through history, important decisions about peoples' lives were made by the subjective decisions of others. The history of intelligence tests is one of replacing subjective decisions of biased observers where bias was often based on family position and political influence with objective measures from more objective tests. Tests became important tools for a developing meritocracy.

This brief history will also make clear that though we know a lot about intelligence, we do not yet know exactly what it is. There are good reasons we do not know as much as we would like to about intelligence. These reasons lie in the history of the development of the intelligence test and the parallel history of the theory about intelligence. An appreciation of what we do and do not know about intelligence requires an understanding of that history.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

iPost: Hall v Thaler Texas Atkins case SCOTUS petion

The SCOTUS blog reports that the Hall v Thaler (TX) "Atkins" case is a "petition to watch." Hopefully this petition is successful and SCOTUS addresses many of the problems left in the wake of the original Atkins v Virginia SCOTUS decision.

All related documents can be accessed under the name of the Petition at the link below, which includes other non-Atkins petitions as well.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

iPost: Top 10 recent SSRN downloads


CrimProf Blog
are here. The usual disclaimers apply. Rank Downloads Paper Title 1 208 Palestine and the International Criminal Court: Asking the Right Question Michael G. Kearney, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Law, Date posted to...
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iPost Research byte: Fabricated evidence and eyewitness testimony

Wise, R. A., Pawlenko, N. B., Safer, M. A., & Meyer, D. (2009). What US Prosecutors and Defence Attorneys Know and Believe About Eyewitness Testimony. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23(9), 1266-1281.

False information can influence people's beliefs and memories. But can fabricated evidence induce individuals to accuse another person of doing something they never did? We examined whether exposure to a fabricated video could produce false eyewitness testimony. Subjects completed a gambling task alongside a confederate subject, and later we falsely told subjects that their partner had cheated on the task. Some subjects viewed a digitally manipulated video of their partner cheating; some were told that video evidence of the cheating exists; and others were not told anything about video evidence. Subjects were asked to sign a statement confirming that they witnessed the incident and that their corroboration could be used in disciplinary action against the accused. See-video subjects were three times more likely to sign the statement than Told-video and Control subjects. Fabricated evidence may, indeed, produce false eyewitness testimony; we discuss probable cognitive mechanisms.

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iPost Research Bytes 10-10-10: WISC IV low scores base rates

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Prevalence of Low Scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV)

Psychological Assessment © 2010 American Psychological Association 2010, Vol. 22, No. 3, 650–656 1040-3590/10/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0019781

Brian L. Brooks Alberta Children's Hospital and University of Calgary

Low scores across a battery of tests are common in healthy people and vary by demographic charac-teristics. The purpose of the present article was to present the base rates of low scores for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, fourth edition (WISC-IV; D. Wechsler, 2003). Participants included 2,200 children and adolescents between 6 and 16 years of age from the WISC-IV U.S. standardization sample. Measures considered in the base rates analyses included the 10 core subtests and the 4 index scores. Analyses were conducted for the entire standardization sample as well as stratified by different classifications of intelligence and different years of parental education. In the total sample, it is uncommon to have 6 or more subtest scores or 2 or more Index scores <= 9th percentile. The prevalence of low scores typically increased with lesser intelligence and fewer years of parental education (e.g., children with below-average intelligence were 75 times more likely than children with above-intelligence to have at least one impaired subtest score). Consistent with existing studies of the base rates of low scores, some low scores on the WISC-IV were common in children and adolescents, and the frequency was related to a child's level of intelligence and parental education.

Keywords: pediatric, base rates, children, abnormal score, intelligence

Sent from Kevin McGrew's iPad

Friday, October 8, 2010

iPost: High court delays execution of man said to be mentally deficient -

CNN story below

Sent from Kevin McGrew's iPad

iPost: NH court sets standards for death sentence review

At link below

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone (IQMobile). (If message includes an image-double click on it to make larger-if hard to see)

iPost: Demographics and the Death Penalty

At link below

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone (IQMobile). (If message includes an image-double click on it to make larger-if hard to see)

Court Decision: Hines v Thaler (TX, 2010)

I'm trying to catch up with the back load of files sent to me by others while I was traveling "down under."  Today I am posting, without comment, information regarding the Hines v Thaler (TX, 2010) Atkins case.  Thanks again to Kevin Foley for sending me these files.

The case was
initially referred to the federal magistrate judge who held a hearing and issued his own opinion.  Hines objected to the magistrates findings, which meant that the district court judge had to resolve the matter. He did, and his opinion was released on Aug. 18,2010 (I don't seem to have a copy anymore - if anyone does, please send so I can add).    Vol 1 and Vol 2 of the court transcripts have also been posted for those who want to read in more detail.

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Dr. Keyes and Dr. Blandino on malingering and retrspective MR/ID Dx in Atkins DP cases

Thanks to Dr. Denis Keyes and Dr. Sal Blandino for making their joint PPT slide presentations, which were part of a 2010 AAIDD Atkins MR/ID Death Penalty Symposium, available for viewing via my SlideShare account (click here).  The file is available for viewing on-line but the download feature has been disabled.  If you want to read a brief summary of the presentation, click here. Contact information for each presenter is on their last slide.

Two other PPT shows (by Stephen Greenspan and John Blume) that were part of this symposium can be found by clicking here and here.

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