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Education Archive

Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty: AAIDD's Legal Defense of the Definition

Date: February 23, 2017
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

Content Overview:

The definition of intellectual disability is a central focus of a death penalty case currently before the United States Supreme Court: Moore v. Texas. Some state courts ignore science and clinical standards, and have chosen to rely instead on stereotypes to diagnose intellectual disability in the death penalty context. AAIDD and The Arc have filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in Moore, to explain why it is essential to use good science and valid clinical standards in the diagnosis of intellectual disability.

Jim Ellis and Ann Delpha are the authors of AAIDD’s brief in Moore. Ellis is a Distinguished Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a past president of AAIDD. Ellis and Delpha, his co-counsel in Moore, will be presenting an update to help clinicians understand what is at stake in a case that may have great impact on their clinical work. 

Jim Ellis, JD, FAAIDD
Ann Delpha, JD