Monday, May 30, 2011

TFYiPOST: Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

in criminal law and procedure ejournals are here. The usual disclaimers apply. Rank Downloads Paper Title 1 567 The Law Enforcement Surveillance Reporting Gap Christopher Soghoian, Indiana University Bloomington - Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Date posted to database: April...





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Educational Psychologist

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Atkins MR/ID Death Penalty Court Decisions: Update on Bedford v Ohio (2011)




Last month a decision re: Bedford v Ohio was posted. Again, Kevin Foley alerted me to recent developments regarding a subsequent district and federal court decisions which resulted in Bedord's recent execution (click here for newspaper story).


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FYiPOST: Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

in criminal law and procedure ejournals are here. The usual disclaimers apply. Rank Downloads Paper Title 1 545 The Law Enforcement Surveillance Reporting Gap Christopher Soghoian, Indiana University Bloomington - Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Date posted to database: April...





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S. Boys on "Death penalty: An unusual punishment America is inflicting upon itself"

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beyond IQ (aka Forrest Gump effect): Why there is more to academic achievement than IQ?

This article is an excellent overview of the importance of non-cognitive traits in understanding academic achievement. I have long believed that Richard Snow's work on trait complexes and aptitude has too long been ignored in assessment practice, as well as the PPIK trait complex work of Ackerman. Human behavior is multivariate and complex....there is a serious need to move Beyond IQ.

Click on image to enlarge. Additional comments and links to other sources are embedded in annotated article as per IQs Reading feature.





Below is model of personal competence from article referenced (with link) in PDF of article.



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Research brief: Accounting for degree of linguistic demand in IQ test directions

Click on image to enlarge. Click here to access the article. [Conflict of interest - I am a coauthor on this article]





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Thursday, May 19, 2011

FYiPOST: Annual Habeas Corpus Training for Capital Post-Conviction Attorneys

 This free program offers 5.0 CLE credits* and is for attorneys who currently represent or are considering representation a capital client in habeas proceedings. This five hour (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) CLE program features nationally-recognized death penalty and habeas corpus experts. The program will include a review of recent Supreme Court decisions, a panel on cutting edge legal issues in habeas practice, and an exercise focusing on ethical considerations faced by habeas lawyers. There will also be two simultaneous sessions on habeas corpus, with one session for attorneys new to habeas work and one for more experienced attorneys. The session will be followed by a luncheon with a keynote address.

 

For more information and to register, please contact Muhammad U. Faridi at (212) 336-1282 or mfaridi@pbwt.com.






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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Atkins MR/ID Death Penalty Court Decision: Wilson (TX, 2010,2011) loses on remand


This is a new decision related to the Texas case of Wilson which was previously posted in August 2010, at that time with a guest blog post by Kevin Foley.

The latest decision (Wilson v Thayler, 2011) is now included in the Court Decisions blogroll. Kevin Foley provides the following guest comments regarding this latest decision.

Marvin Lee Wilson Loses on Remand Guest blog comments by Kevin Foley.





Marvin Lee Wilson’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus relief, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the district court and ordered that, “The district court shall consider Petitioner’s motion and the full state Atkins record under the current law.” Apparently, the federal district court denied the habeas corpus claim without having the complete state court record before it. [Click here for copy of decision]

The district court’s resolution of the Atkins claim on remand was disappointing, to say the least. The district court stated that the state trial court’s decision was, “less than clear”, a comment that is a red flag to any lawyer, because it is an indication that, in some respects, one may not be able to tell just what the trial judge did or what reasoning he used. The district court’s discussion seemed to go downhill from here. Incredibly, the district court pointed out that, “the state court did not explicitly state that Wilson suffered from significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning [nor did the trial court make a specific finding about Wilson’s level of intellectual finding] . . . The state court also did not make explicit findings and reached no explicit conclusions as to whether Wilson had significant limitations in adaptive functioning, and it made no explicit finding as to whether Wilson’s significantly alleged sub-average intellectual functioning and significant limitations in adaptive skills ( if he had them) occurred prior to the age of eighteen”. What is going on here? How can a court rule on a mental retardation claim without making findings on the three elements of the diagnosis? Well, what the trial court did was - at least according to the federal habeas corpus judge – “The state court made explicit findings as to each of the seven Briseño factors”, the dubious judge-created “test” for whether a capital defendant is mentally retarded. It is a discouraging development in the land of Atkins jurisprudence that a court can adjudicate a mental retardation case without making findings on the three major elements of the diagnosis, instead relying mostly on the so-called Briseño factors - and have such a effort survive appellate and habeas corpus review.

[Blogmaster comment. Click here for all prior posts that touch on the Texas Briseno standards]








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Atkins MR/ID Death Penalty Court Decisions: Hines v Thaler (TX,2011) and Bedford v Ohio (2011)




I am again behind in posting of Atkins MR/ID court decisions. Kevin Foley continues to send me recent decisions and I need to get caught up. This is an FYI (with no comments) post regarding two recent decisions.

-Hines v Thaler (TX, 2011). This is a new decision related to prior decisions in 2010.

Also,

Bedford v Ohio (2011)

Both will be added to Court Decisions blogroll in a few minlutes.


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FYiPOST: The curious story of 'a reasonable degree of professional certainty'

I recently had a strange experience: An opposing attorney made a motion to exclude my report in a legal case, because I had not written that I held my expressed opinions "to a reasonable degree of psychological certainty." The attorney who had retained me was forced to scramble to obtain a written declaration from me, stating that I did indeed hold my opinions to this level of certitude. I typically do not include this magic phrase in reports, finding it rather obtuse and, frankly, pompous-sounding. So, when my colleague Dr. Worthen expressed knowledge of the phrase, I prevailed upon him to write this guest post. 

Guest post by Mark D. Worthen, Psy.D.*

Expert witnesses who testify based on their medical, psychological, or other scientific training and expertise, are often asked to express their opinions "to a reasonable degree of medical (or psychological or scientific) certainty." But what does this phrase mean and why is it used in legal proceedings?

<snip>

Complete post at link below





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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

FYiPOST: Mental disability claim prompts execution stay in Ohio (and lots more litigation, I suspect)

As detailed in this new AP story, "federal judge in Ohio is halting the execution of a man who was convicted in the 1984 shootings of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend but says he doesn't remember the slayings." Story at li k below.





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FYiPOST: Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

in criminal law and procedure ejournals are here. The usual disclaimers apply. Rank Downloads Paper Title 1 529 The Law Enforcement Surveillance Reporting Gap Christopher Soghoian, Indiana University Bloomington - Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Date posted to database: April...





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Educational Psychologist

Friday, May 13, 2011

FYiPOST: Alesini and La Ferrara on Testing Racial Bias in Capital Sentencing

Alberto F. Alesina and Eliana La Ferrara (Harvard University - Department of Economics and University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER)) has posted A Test of Racial Bias in Capital Sentencing on SSRN. Here is the...





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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

FYiPOST: Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

in criminal law and procedure ejournals are here. The usual disclaimers apply. Rank Downloads Paper Title 1 518 The Law Enforcement Surveillance Reporting Gap Christopher Soghoian, Indiana University Bloomington - Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Date posted to database: April...





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Educational Psychologist

Interesting stuff on graphical abstracts of research articles

See link below

http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authorsview.authors/graphicalabstracts


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Educational Psychologist

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Why Academics should blog@BrainCosmos, 5/7/11 2:38 AM

This blog post explains many of the reasons I blog, especially intrinsic interest in staying current with new literature and sharing existing new articles with others.  Excellent.  Well done.

Brain (@BrainCosmos)
5/7/11 2:38 AM
Why Academics Should Blog: A College of One's Own bit.ly/m3PUnn


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Friday, May 6, 2011

Atkins MR/ID Court Decision: Turner v US (FL; 2011)




Thanks again to Kevin Foley for sending me this interesting case with a brief summary overview.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided the William Turner case. The case was an application for permission to file a subsequent federal habeas corpus claim. The 11th Circuit denied the application, and in doing so, upheld the Florida Courts' denial of Turner's Atkins claim.

After Atkins was decided, Turner sought to prove he was ID. Apparently, he initially presented the courts with evidence that he obtained childhood IQ scores of 72 and 73. Eventually, the Florida trial court appointed two experts to assess Turner. Turner obtained a FSIQ of 98 on the WAIS-III and a FSIQ of 108 on the SB-5. The trial court summarily denied the claim, without an evidenciary hearing, on the basis that there was no way Turner could show he was ID. The FL Supreme Court affirmed.

Of some significance was the fact that Turner served a combat tour in Vietnam and was honorably discharged from the military. He also graduated from high school - according to the 11th Circuit:

"Turner graduated from high school in the third quartile of his class and attended junior college [which] also refutes Turner’s contention."

His lawyers were nonplussed. Similar to the another recent case commented on via a guest blog post by Kevin Foley, the attorneys appeared to believe that all they had to show was that Turner was ID before age 18. As for the problem with the 26 or 36 point gain in IQ (depending on whether you look at the WAIS-III or the SB-5) from childhood to adult, the attorneys argued in their brief to the Florida Supreme Court that,

"for the past 24 years on death row he has strenuously worked to improve his intellectual functioning and academic skills. Now 64 years old, and a survivor of prostate cancer and radical surgery, Turner has spent the last quarter century doing virtually nothing but watching educational public television every day and diligently practicing his reading, communication, social sciences, and math skills. . . This hard work over the past 24 years is reflected in substantial increases in Turner’s IQ scores since childhood."

Interesting argument, but such a large increase in IQ scores make an ID/MR claim dubious and raises interesting issues about the third prong of the Dx (MR/ID during the developmental period)


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

New APA journal App for iPhone and iPad

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FYiPOST: Neuroscience and Law Webinars from the ABA and AAAS

The ABA and AAAS are sponsoring a neuroscience and law webinar series. Via the ABA's Julie Passamani: "The hour and a half programs are at 12pm CST on Thursday, May 5th (Neuroscience and the Law: Memory and Lie Detection); Thursday,...





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