Defendant Facing Capital Punishment Can Argue That "Flynn Effect" and Standard Error of Measurement Should Be Taken Into Account When Determining Whether IQ Score Established He Is Mentally Retarded

Walker v. True, 399 F.3d 315 (4th Cir. 2005)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on a defendant who is mentally retarded.  However, the Supreme Court left it to the states to define what constitutes mental retardation in this context. Virginia responded by enacting legislation that requires the defendant to establish that the disability originated before the age of 18, that it is characterized by a score two standard deviations below the mean on an approved standardized test, and significant limitations exist in the defendant's adaptive behavior. VA. CODE § 19.2-264.3: 1.1....

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 2