An attempt to provide understandable and up-to-date information regarding intelligence testing, intelligence theories, personal competence, adaptive behavior and intellectual disability (mental retardation) as they relate to death penalty (capital punishment) issues. A particular focus will be on psychological measurement, statistical and psychometric issues.
Friday, December 6, 2019
Evaluating Intellectual Disability after the Moore v. Texas Redux | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
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.