Sunday, September 27, 2020

Atkins intellectual disability court decisions: Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reverses decisions on two Atkins cases - Webster and Guevara


 

Twice in the past few weeks, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has reversed adverse prior decisions regarding Atkins intellectual disability death penalty decisions.

Click here for Webster (2020)

Click here for Guevara (2020)

Prior documents and decisions related to these two cases can be found in the court decisions blog roll on the right-hand side of this blog. 

 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Juan Lizcano's Texas death sentence tossed due to intellectual disability | The Texas Tribune

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/09/16/juan-lizcano-texas-death-row/

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

CA legislature changes definition of ID to not allow Heaton or demographically-adjusted IQ test norms.

The California Legislature has changed the definition of ID  to be less racially biased.  In particular, it now bans the use of  demographically adjusted or "Heaton" norms.    See story here...where a link is provided to download the PDF.



Monday, August 24, 2020

'Man is Opposed to Fair Play': An Empirical Analysis of How the Fifth Circuit Has Failed to Take Seriously Atkins v. Virginia by Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Wetzel :: SSRN

 'Man is Opposed to Fair Play': An Empirical Analysis of How the Fifth Circuit Has Failed to Take Seriously Atkins v. Virginia by Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Wetzel :: SSRN 
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3660564

A more finalized version of this paper which I posted about recently.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Welcome to Channel g. Dr. Andrew Conway on Intelligence. Stay tuned

Welcome to Channel g
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/channel-g/202008/welcome-channel-g

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

Atkins Court Decision: Phillips v Florida (2020)



Phillips v Florida (2020) is available here.

Prior information related to Phillips (2008) can be found here.

“Man is Opposed to Fair Play”: An Empirical Analysis of How the Fifth Circuit Has Failed to Take Seriously Atkins v. Virginia - Perlin et al. (2020)

Copy of this new article available here.

Below is a copy of the conclusion


VI. Conclusion

 

The database we have considered here is infinitely depressing. There was only actual relief in 12.4% of the cases that raised Atkins issues, and this grouping of nine cases includes two in which the defendant died before the final relief could be implemented. What it reveals is a Court with little or no interest in the thoughtful opinions of Justice Stevens in Atkins and of Justice Kennedy in Hall. The science is ignored, and the jurisprudence is ignored. Baseless fears of undetected malingering, the mindless use of lay stereotypes of what “looks like” remorse, and the corrupt employment of “ethnic adjustments” to lawlessly raise IQ scores making certain minority defendants improperly eligible for execution all are reflected in the cases decided by the Fifth Circuit. Certainly, the earlier conclusion reached by Professor John Blume and his colleagues (in their empirical study of all Atkins claims) – that “Atkins is not evenhandedly protecting those it was designed to protect”296—rings as true today as it did when written eleven years ago. On the other hand, the cases reveal important potential strategies for defense counsel: (1) It is essential that allegations of malingering be vigorously rebutted through expert testimony; (2) even though the Fifth Circuit has not yet acknowledged its scientific validity, the Flynn effect must be brought to the Court’s attention, (3) the defendant should be given a WAIS test, and the WISC test must be avoided, (4) the use of lay stereotypes of “showing remorse” must be firmly discredited. If these are all done, then there is at least some chance that Atkins and its progeny will be given life in subsequent cases.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project: Overview and considerations for life span research and evidence-based practice: The Clinical Neuropsychologist: Vol 0, No 0

 The Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project: Overview and considerations for life span research and evidence-based practice: The Clinical Neuropsychologist: Vol 0, No 0 
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13854046.2020.1794046

Objective

This paper summarizes the findings of the Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project and offers a roadmap for future research.

Methods

The NP-NUMBRS project represents the largest and most comprehensive co-normed neuropsychological battery to date for native Spanish-speaking healthy adults from the U.S. (California/Arizona)-Mexico borderland region (N = 254; ages 19–60 years). These norms provide demographic adjustments for tests across numerous domains (i.e., verbal fluency, processing speed, attention/working memory, executive function, episodic memory [learning and delayed recall], visuospatial, and fine motor skills).

Conclusions

This project: 1) shows that the NP-NUMBRS norms consistently outperformed previously published norms for English-speaking non-Hispanic (White and African-American) adults in identifying impairment; 2) explores the role of Spanish-English bilingualism in test performance; and 3) provides support for the diagnostic validity of these norms in detecting HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment. Study limitations include the limited assessment of sociocultural variables and generalizability (e.g., other Latina/o populations, age limit [19 − 60 years]). Future research is needed to: 1) investigate these norms with U.S.-dwelling Spanish-speakers of non-Mexican heritage and other clinical subpopulations; 2) expand coverage of cognitive domains (e.g. language, visuospatial); 3) develop large normative datasets for children and older Latina/o populations; 4) examine how sociocultural factors impact performance (e.g., bilingualism, acculturation); 5) investigate these norms' diagnostic and ecological validity; and 6) develop norms for neurocognitive change across time. It is hoped that the NP-NUMBRS norms will aid researchers and clinicians working with U.S.-dwelling Spanish-speakers from the U.S.-Mexico borderland to conduct research and evidence-based neuropsychological evaluations in a more culturally responsive and ethical manner.

Friday, July 31, 2020

State analysis of ID death penalty cases



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

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Race, Intellectual Disability, and Death: An Empirical Inquiry into Invidious Influences on Atkins Determinations Part 1: Latinx Communities, Race, and the Criminal Justice System 66 UCLA Law Review 2019

Race, Intellectual Disability, and Death: An Empirical Inquiry into Invidious Influences on Atkins Determinations Part 1: Latinx Communities, Race, and the Criminal Justice System 66 UCLA Law Review 2019 .  Click here



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Death Penalty Cases | SpringerLink

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-44470-9_7

Death Penalty Cases

  • Lenore E. WalkerEmail author
  • David Shapiro
  • Stephanie Akl
  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
Chapter
  • 7Downloads

Abstract

In 1986, the USSC ruled that it was a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution (cruel and unusual punishment) to execute someone who was 'insane'. (Ford v. Wainwright) In capital cases, a sentencing proceeding has, for many years, consisted of a jury hearing 'aggravating factors' from the state and 'mitigating factors' from the defense. Defense attorneys are now able to proffer someone's mental health history as a possible mitigating factor in capital cases, arguing that the mental illness played some role in the commission of the crime, and that therefore, the defendant should be sentenced to life imprisonment rather than death. A case called Eddings v. Oklahoma (1982) argued in front of the USSC resulted in a finding that the defense is entitled to use any possible mitigating evidence in a capital trial. Of course, the prosecution wants to present a strong case for capital punishment and therefore will present aggravating factors that include the defendant's propensity for violent behavior. Unfortunately, all too often these predictions of dangerousness are made in expert testimony where the expert is unaware of the real limitations documented in the research of predicting future violent behavior. In 2002, the USSC ruled that it was unconstitutional (again Eighth Amendment violation) to execute a mentally retarded defendant (Atkins v. Virginia). Unfortunately, several individual states adopted rather idiosyncratic definitions of mental retardation and some allowed the artificial inflation of I.Q. scores based on testimony that it was an 'ethnic adjustment'. This chapter describes some of the ways mental health professionals can work in death penalty clinics with defense attorneys or with state prosecutors on these cases.

Keywords

Mitigators Aggravators Eddings v. Oklahoma Mental retardation Ethnic adjustment Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution Habeas petition 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Multidimensional Malingering Criteria for Neuropsychological Assessment: A 20-Year Update of the Malingered Neuropsychological Dysfunction Criteria | Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology | Oxford Academic

Multidimensional Malingering Criteria for Neuropsychological Assessment: A 20-Year Update of the Malingered Neuropsychological Dysfunction Criteria | Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology | Oxford Academic
https://academic.oup.com/acn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/arclin/acaa019/5830790

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
************************************************

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)
******************************************


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)
******************************************


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
************************************************