Thursday, March 10, 2011

FYiPOST: Age of onset component of MR/ID and Atkins DP and SSA

Does age of onset in legal contexts mean chronological or developmental age? This is a live issue in the death penalty context because in Atkins v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court found it cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to execute mentally retarded offenders. While the Atkins Court cited favorably to clinical definitions of mental retardation, it left open to the states to define what mental retardation means for purposes of the death penalty.

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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist