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August 10, 2014

"Scientizing Culpability: The Implications of Hall v. Florida and the Possibility of a 'Scientific Stare Decisis'"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper available on SSRN authored by Christopher Slobogin. Here is the abstract:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Hall v. Florida holds that “clinical definitions” control the meaning of intellectual disability in the death penalty context. In other words, the Court “scientized” the definition of intellectual disability. This article discusses the implications of this unprecedented move. It also introduces the idea of scientific stare decisis — a requirement that groups that are scientifically alike be treated similarly for culpability purposes — as a means of implementing the scientization process.

August 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Permalink


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The IQ predicts success and failure decades later. It is the most validated human measure in history.

People with low IQ's do not learn well, and are therefore more dangerous than average. Low IQ should be an aggravating factor, accelerating the application of the death penalty.

Because of the correlation, by the court's logic, another arithmetic calculation should be added to the guidelines. Multiply the final sentence by the IQ. So a very intelligent person, with an IQ of 150, should get a 50% longer sentence. Black victims would be devalued again, since the black average IQ is 85. The average white IQ is 100, and the average Asian IQ is 110. These are culturally based, since there are no genetic differences between the races. After WWII, the IQ in Japan was 100. It went to 110 in a genetically impossible time of 3 decades because of the over-education policy of the nation.

I have argued, many law student start their educations with very high IQ's. After the law education, they emerge with incredibly stupid beliefs, that even people in special ed with mental retardation would not share.

Now, what's his name, Atkins, the guy who had a drug business at age 9, and who lured a competitor into his car, murdered him, that guy was declared to have mental retardation and not death eligible. He spent so much time with his lawyers that his language ability markedly improved, and now he would be death eligible. As a result of this experience, I have proposed a new method of special education, that all special ed patients no longer waste time in special classes, but be assigned to shadow a lawyer. The lawyer can improve the test performance of the mentally retarded student. The mentally retarded student can advise the lawyer on what is common sense, morally appropriate and not embarrassing.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 10, 2014 12:56:37 PM

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