CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Haydt, Greenspan & Agharkar on The Diagnosis of Intellectual Disability in Death Penalty Cases

Nancy Haydt Stephen Greenspan and Bhushan S. Agharkar (Independent , University of Connecticut and Emory University - School of Medicine) have posted Advantages of DSM-5 in the Diagnosis of Intellectual Disability: Reduced Reliance on IQ Ceilings in Atkins (Death Penalty) Cases (University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 82, No. 2, 2014) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Atkins v. Virginia, which categorically banned the death penalty for capital defendants who have Intellectual Disability. Inclusion in this class is determined by a clinical diagnosis that is made by a judge or jury based largely on expert testimony. The guidelines for a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability was based in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (1992) [DSM-IV]. The American Psychiatric Association has published a fifth edition, the DSM-5, with a clearer and broader definition of Intellectual Disability. This paper explains the advantages of the DSM-5's guidelines and definition of Intellectual Disability in the diagnosis of Intellectual Disability in capital murder cases.

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