Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Atkins Law Review Article: Race, Intellectual Disability, and Death: An Empirical Inquiry Into Invidious Influences on Atkins Determinations (Johnson et al., 2020)

Race, Intellectual Disability, and Death: An Empirical Inquiry Into Invidious Influences on Atkins Determinations (2020).  UCLA Law Review.  Sheri Lynn Johnson, John H. Blume, Amelia Courtney Hritz, &Caisa Elizabeth Royer



In Atkins v. Virginia,the U.S. Supreme Court held that the execution of a person with intellectual
disability violates the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. After more than a decade of
Atkins litigation, we perceived there to be a substantial risk that race influences intellectual disability-and consequently, life and death-determinations. Due to the difficulty of demonstrating the influence of race in a particular case, we decided to investigate its potential effects in a controlled experiment. We did so by manipulating race in three different ways and by presenting cases with both strong and ambiguous evidence of intellectual disability. We found statistically significant race effects when we showed the face of the defendant and when the evidence of intellectual disability we provided was ambiguous. The influence of race was more pronounced when we limited our sample to white mock jurors. Even with a relatively weak manipulation, the size of the race effect is substantial. We also discovered that many participants weighed the facts of the criminal case and the consequences of their decision (death penalty eligibility), even though it was not relevant to the determination of whether the claimant was (or was not) a person with intellectual disability. These findings shed light on why claims of intellectual disability almostnever succeed before juries: death-qualified jurors may not make the diagnostic determination based on the evidence, but instead likely upon their own assessment of death-worthiness.

Atkins article: Determining Intellectual Disability in Death Penalty Cases: A State-by-State Analysis (2020). Jennifer LaPrade & John L. Worrall

Determining Intellectual Disability in Death Penalty Cases: A State-by-State Analysis.  Jennifer LaPrade
John L. Worrall, 2020.

Journal of Criminal Justice and Law: Official
Journal of the Law and Public Policy Section
of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 2, pp. 1-28 (2020)



In Moore v. Texas (2017), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas death penalty definitions of intellectual disability were inadequate because they strayed too far from clinical definitions. This study examines how each state defines intellectual disability with regard to death penalty eligibility. It reveals a wide variation in the standards used by states, with no clear consensus on definitions of intellectual disability or who should measure it. Variations pertain to age at onset, proof of intellectual disability status at the time of the crime, burden of proof required to make the intellectual disability determination, and who makes the final decision. Implications and suggestions for the future are discussed.

Atkins article: "Man is opposed to fair play": An empirical analysis of how the Fifth Circuit has failed to take seriosly Atkins v Virginia - Perlin et al (2020)

'Man is Opposed to Fair Play': An Empirical Analysis of How the Fifth Circuit Has Failed to Take Seriously Atkins v. Virginia.  Perlin, Harmon & Wetzel

Revised: 9 Dec 2020

Atkins ID after Moore V Texas Redux article - 2029

I'm trying to clean up my "to post" inbox.  I may have already shared this recent article.  If not, here it is.

Evaluating Intellectual Disability after the Moore v. Texas Redux

Alexander H. Updegrove, PhD, and Michael S. Vaughn, PhD

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 constitu-tional 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

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Atkins ID Death Penalty Court Decision: Texas High court stays execution of man with ID...1 week before he was set to die

Copy of story below.

Texas' top criminal court halted a man's execution Wednesday, exactly 1 week before he was scheduled to die.

Lawyers for Edward Busby, 48, had appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing Busby's execution would be illegal because he is mentally disabled, the Marshall Project reported.

Busby was convicted of killing Laura Crane, 77, in January 2004 by stuffing her in a car trunk and duct taping her mouth shut, resulting in her suffocating to death.  Crane, a retired professor at Texas Christian University, was abducted in Fort Worth and police found her body in Oklahoma.

Busby's prior appeals were rejected, according to court documents obtained by the Marshall Project, but his last ditch appeal for a stay was granted. Busby's intellectual disability claim will be reviewed by a lower court. Texas executed 3 people in 2020 and 9 people in 2019. The state has yet to execute anyone in 2021.

Busby's execution was previously set for May 6, 2020, but was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was planned for Feb. 10 until Wednesday's court ruling.

Monday, February 1, 2021

The IOP-29 and the IOP-M: New Generation Symptom and Performance Validity Tests for Malingering Evaluations – Workshop O 3.5 CE Credits

 The IOP-29 and the IOP-M: New Generation Symptom and Performance Validity Tests for Malingering Evaluations – Workshop O 3.5 CE Credits

Workshop Information:
The Inventory of Problems-29 (IOP-29; Viglione, Giromini & Landis, 2017) is a new, brief, self-report measure designed to assist practitioners evaluating the credibility of various symptom presentations, including those related to (1) depression/anxiety, (2) psychosis/schizophrenia, (3) post-traumatic reactions, and (4) neuropsychological/intellectual dysfunction. It is comprised of 29 items, administered via classic, paper-and-pencil format, or online, using a tablet or a PC. By analyzing the responses to each of these 29 items, a logistic regression-derived formula generates the False Disorder Probability Score (FDS), a probability value reflecting the likelihood of drawing that specific IOP-29 from a group of experimental feigners versus a group of bona fide patients. Based on emerging research attesting to the utility of combining symptom validity with performance validity measures a new "add-on" feature of the IOP-29 has recently been developed. Named "IOP-M," its purpose is to detect malingered memory deficits. This half-day workshop will describe the research foundation for the IOP-29 and IOP-M in malingering evaluations and will present guidelines for their use in applied practice. Together, these two brief tests, each taking five to ten minutes, provide the most efficient symptom and performance measure for the busy practitioner. No prior experience with the IOP instruments is required.

Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)