Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Atkins MR/ID Death Penalty Court Decision: Blue v Thaler (TX, 2010)

Thanks again to Kevin Foley for sending me the federal habeas court's opinion for Blue v Thaler (TX, 2010).  Also available are copies of various expert reports/affidavits (click here, here, and here).  Apparently the decision was made on the basis of documents and no formal hearing was held. 

Of interest to readers may be the intelligence testing evidence.  In state court Blue did not have a complete IQ test (just a couple of subtests and an IQ estimate--apparently completed pre-Atkins).  For the federal court Blue was administered the WAIS-III in 2/08 and obtained a FSIQ of 76.  The examiner recommended retesting given the fact that the newer WAIS-IV was just being published.  The judge agreed.  Nine months later Blue obtained a FSIQ of 77 on the WAIS-IV.  Administration of WAIS-IV eliminated the Flynn Effect argument for the WAIS-III test scores and nine months between testing does mitigate the practice effect argument.  Blue loses on the first prong of MR/ID.  

The court also had some concerns about selective attention to certain portions of the adaptive behavior evidence..

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