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Education Archive

Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty

  • Dates: 06 – 11 Apr, 2015
Date: April 6, 2015
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm Eastern

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This webinar will focus on aspects of the diagnosis of intellectual disability that are central to decisions made in death penalty cases. The three presenters will provide information concerning the definitional basis for intellectual disability, key relevant characteristics associated with people with intellectual disability, assessment of intellectual functioning, and the assessment of adaptive behavior. This information will be placed in the context of the role professionals play in the diagnosis of intellectual disability with particular relevance to death penalty cases.

Edward Polloway, EdD

Dr. Polloway has taught at Lynchburg College since 1976. He has also had several prior administrative positions, including Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Education and Human Development. Prior to coming to Lynchburg College, he was a public school teacher. He has served as project director for a series of state and federal grants in the area of personnel preparation in special education, served two terms as President of the Division on Developmental Disabilities (DADD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (international), and served on the Board of Trustees for the Council for Learning Disabilities (international).

Greg Olley, PhD
Dr. Olley is a Clinical Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Olley serves as an expert in Atkins hearings in North Carolina and other states. Involvement in Atkins cases has led Dr. Olley to related activities. He has represented the APA in an advisory group to the World Health Organization in their terminology for the ICD-11. He is also a member of the Policy and Positions Committee that is updating policies for the Arc of the United States and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. When not engaged in issues of criminal justice and the death penalty, Dr. Olley is the Chairperson of the North Carolina Commission for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders, which writes the rules for statutes that affect people with these disabilities and advises the state Division on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

James Patton, EdD
Dr. Patton is currently an independent consultant and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught students with special needs at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in both public and private settings. He was formerly on the faculty at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His primary areas of professional activity are transition assessment and planning, differentiating instruction for students with special needs in inclusive settings, study skills instruction, needs of college students with learning-related challenges, and issues associated with individual with disabilities who encounter the criminal justice system.  He currently works with other professionals internationally and serves as an intellectual disabilities forensics specialist in death penalty cases throughout the country.