TDCAA TDCAA Community Criminal I *guess* dealing with defense attorneys can be intellectually stimulating...
US jury rules killer fit to die
A jury in the US state of Virginia has decided that a man with learning difficulties on death row is intelligent enough to be executed.
Friday, 5 August 2005
Daryl Atkins has twice been sentenced to death for murder, but in 2002 won a Supreme Court ruling that the mentally retarded cannot be put to death.
However, the court said it was up to individual states to apply the ruling.
To escape execution in Virginia, an inmate has to prove he has an IQ of 70 or less; but Atkins scored 76 recently.
He had previously scored 59 in 1998.
The intellectual stimulation he got from constant contact with lawyers in the case is thought to have raised his IQ above the threshold of 70.
The jury considered a wide range of evidence to determine his mental capacity, including records from his childhood, various intelligence and memory tests and interviews with people who had known him as an adult.
The prosecution blamed his poor performance in school on the use of drugs and alcohol, and said the claim of mental retardation was a ploy to avoid execution, the Associated Press news agency reports.
Daryl Atkins has been sentenced to death in 1998 for murdering a 21-year-old Air Force mechanic in 1996 over beer money.
But in 2002 his case led the Supreme Court to ban the death penalty for the mentally retarded, while leaving it up to individual states to decide who is covered by the ruling.
He is now due to be executed in December by lethal injection.
So does that mean we're coming down to a duel between the 6th and 8th amendments? "You can't make me use a lawyer! You're just trying to get me executed!"
If a death row defendant in regular contact with his attorney continues to score below 70 on an IQ test, does this mean that he is mentally retarded or that he has received ineffective assistance of counsel?
Atkin's increase of 20 points in "IQ" flies in the face of what "defense/mitigation psychologists" have testified to in my courts. To them, the "IQ" test shows the defendant's innate ability, i.e.,studying may jump a few points but not the leap Atkins has done (an especially large leap when charted on the bell graph). A simple and interesting posting that illustrates psychobabble.
I'm sure Seth Silverman could explain it to you !
I had forgotten a person existed with the name Seth Silverman until your post.
We can forcefully medicate 'em, too, so why not?
How could you ever forget Seth. My favorite testimony of his was when Fred got him to say under X that under his theory for the perp, if you were Christian (instead of whatever vodoo sect the perp was a member of), believed in Jesus and the 2nd coming, then you were mentally incompetant !
It took years of therapy.
Conversely, did it lower the defense attorney's IQ to have constant, unsophisticated conversations with a dolt?
I actually took two free online IQ tests the other day. Admittedly, these were of a 10-15 minute variety, and I had my toddler whining at me trying to get my attention even through my 10 minutes, but according to one of these tests, I've lost 14 points IQ in the last five years, and according to the other, I've lost a whopping 31 points. Scary. Here I was all ready to blame my kids and my lack of sleep, but I like the over-exposure to bad lawyers theory better--thanks!
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