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NEWS: Killers Rising IQ Score Could Mean His Death

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posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 03:56 AM
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An US inmate saved from the death penalty because he was considered retarded could be facing death row again because his IQ has since risen. The increase is a result, according to his lawyers, of attending his own trial. Daryl Atkins won a landmark case in which the US Supreme Court ruled that mentally retarded prisoners could not be executed. Prosecutors say the new IQ tests support their view that he shouldn't have been considered retarded in the first place.
 



news.independent.co.uk
In an extraordinary reversal of fortune, Daryl Atkins will return to court later this year where a jury will decide whether he is officially retarded. If the court decides he is not, Atkins, 27, could be executed by lethal injection ­ in effect, because of the work he did that resulted in other mentally retarded prisoners being spared.

Atkins' IQ was first tested in 1998 and was found to stand at 59. But when it was tested more recently, he scored 76. In Virginia, the level at which the state differentiates between someone who is retarded and someone who is not is 70.

A report about Atkins recently completed by Evan Nelson, a psychologist who was hired by the defence, said: "Oddly enough, because of his constant contact with the many lawyers that worked on his case Mr Atkins received more intellectual stimulation in prison than he did during his late adolescence and early adulthood.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I find this pretty bizarre. Surely if he was found to be retarded at the time of the crime, subsequently becoming more intelligent shouldn't change the result of the trial? If a person is considered insane at the time of a crime they aren't re-tried if they become sane again.

Related News Links:
www.telegraph.co.uk
sfgate.com
www.nytimes.com


[edit on 7-2-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:16 AM
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I would tend to agree with your sentiments, if he was mentally retarded at the time he commited the crime, then the fact that it has since risen due to events that occured afterward doesn't change that fact, he was still legally retarded at the time he commited the crime.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:25 AM
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What? IQ can't change over a lifetime, certianly not in any meaningful way. One can become more educated, but the whole idea of IQ is that its the ground ability of the brain.

If anything this shows how bogus IQ testing, in theory or in actual poor practice, can be.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:47 AM
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what this shows is that the original testing was flawed. I've taken many of these tests, both seriously and on a lark. I can easily move my IQ numbers down 30 points consistently, or back up. Don't even get me started on so-called "psych profiles".

I'm sure he was sufficiently well coached to "pass" the test the first time by lawyers and folks who benefit from keeping killers alive. But he wasn't smart enough to keep his "cover" over time.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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I'm not sure which is more retarded, the inmate or the decision to re-sentence him.

They made the decision that he was mentally retarded and so would not face the death penalty, so they should stick with it. To decide that his IQ is rising (WTF?) and therefore can be re-sentenced for a crime he committed, whilst it was low, is rediculous.

As someone has already mentioned, if one is assumed to be insane and avoids the death penalty on them grounds, then later becames sane, should they be re-sentenced? Of course not (although I certainly wouldn't put it past some people).

Also, regardless of whether the tests for his mental capacity were flawed or not, they were the circumstances they decided to run with when sentencing him so they should stick with it end of story.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
What? IQ can't change over a lifetime, certianly not in any meaningful way. One can become more educated, but the whole idea of IQ is that its the ground ability of the brain.

If anything this shows how bogus IQ testing, in theory or in actual poor practice, can be.


He may have only recieved an education untill in prison. He might also have been on hard drugs for quite some time before going to jail. If your I.Q is tested while your brain is still hovering in a drug induced fog, (which can last several years after giving up) then your I.Q is tested a few years or so after quitting, your I.Q will be higher than it was when last tested. Both these are plausible explanations as to how an I.Q can increase.

It sounds like the prosecution are trying to imply he played dumb for the initial tests though, which is also a good possibilty.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:25 PM
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your IQ may not change, but you ability to take the test and answer the questions may lower your results. Even depressed people are known to score 10-20 points lower on IQ tests.

Frankly it might be a cause for dismissela, or even a mis trial



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat
your IQ may not change, but you ability to take the test and answer the questions may lower your results. Even depressed people are known to score 10-20 points lower on IQ tests.

Frankly it might be a cause for dismissela, or even a mis trial


I was going to say the exact same thing.

I don't think his case should even be considered because he wasn't sane when he committed the crime, and it doesn't matter if he has become an einsten since then.

Surf



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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Current inteligence should have no bearing; the fact that he was retarded when he committed the act doesn't change.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 03:18 AM
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Or it could show that he played the system by failing the test the first time to get out of the death penalty.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 03:26 AM
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Sometimes this country really makes me wonder..

If you had the choice of killing a retarded man or an averarge one, who would you choose?

Why does our justice system feel differently? They say it's because we should show leniancy to those who don't know they commited a crime. They say it's better to keep the retarded murderer behind bars rather than do away with him. Meanwhile smart people can be executed without a question on their subjective perception of their crime? If a smart man killed his wife, couldn't he very well argue that he thought he was doing the world a favor by splitting her skull? Wouldn't that put him in the same category with the retarded guy who thought he was being funny when he strangled his sister?

Sometimes I just don't get this place. I think we're approaching the threshold of complete anarchy. Principally because of backwards logic and flawed approaches to 'treatment' that we call a justice system.

If I could, I would open every cell door with my mind and let them sort each other out inside the prisons and on the roads, in the walmarts and cornerstores. There would be a few bloody years followed by a long, peaceful silence.

Retarded or no, you owe your continued life within society TO society. If you can't act right there are only two options. Capital punishment or exile. I favor exile but all the good island nations are spoken for.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 03:55 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
What? IQ can't change over a lifetime, certianly not in any meaningful way. One can become more educated, but the whole idea of IQ is that its the ground ability of the brain.

If anything this shows how bogus IQ testing, in theory or in actual poor practice, can be.



I agree re bogus IQ testing - BUT - mini-strokes commonly affect mental capacity and damage white matter - this has now been shown to be reversible in some cases, called "transient white matter damage." ...IMO - it's a lot more common than is recognized officially, and both conceptually and physically similar (at the cellular level) to what is called 'temporary insanity.'


.

[edit on 9-2-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 05:17 AM
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How can there be any doubt that this guy is retarded? No intelligent person would ever pass an IQ test that would lead to his own death.

"Prisoner number 526280150 (in a twisted sort of way that spells vagabond, focus on the 5s and 2s and I dare you to figure it out)
Anyway... "Prisoner number 526280150, which of the following does not belong... Crow, helicopter, jumbo jet, Bigbird"
"SESAME STREET! SESAME STREET!"
"Ok Ok here is the scantron, just take the multiple choice version of the test."
*Vagabond happily scrawls a picture of Bigbird over the scantron sheet*

Seriously... how the hell could you get a good IQ test on somebody who is gonna fry for passing it? Either the new test was bogus or the guys is the smartest retard alive.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 07:23 AM
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Your brain is like a muscle that uses electronics rather than kinnetics to do its job. The more you use it, the better it gets. There have been studies which show (American Scientific, June 2003) that if the mind is consistantly challenged, more synapses are "activated" and start communicating along with more glia becoming active. Cells aren't created, our nervous system can't repair its self after early childhood, but the average human only uses 10% of their brain. There's still 90% (though in a realistic manner this number is far lower) which can be tapped for additional synaptic pathways and glial cells.

So yes, you can increase your IQ. Just not your brain cell count


However, typically if you're labled "retarded", people just give up on trying to teach you anything. Though it may seem they aren't learning, you are challenging their brain and strengthening it. You just need to be careful how you do it, because it can also lead to extreme frustration in the mentally handicapped.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake
but the average human only uses 10% of their brain. There's still 90% (though in a realistic manner this number is far lower) which can be tapped for additional synaptic pathways and glial cells.


Does anybody actually have a source for that 10% figure? I seem to remember reading that the 90% unused story was completely unsubstantiated and had its origin in a philosophical work. I'm just curious.
I'm not arguing that IQ can't change or that the brain can't become more efficient in operation, I just doubt the 10% figure.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada
To decide that his IQ is rising (WTF?) and therefore can be re-sentenced for a crime he committed, whilst it was low, is rediculous.

You can't 'fix' having low IQ, i think that the basis for resentencing would be that he infact never did have a low IQ and was fully cognizant of what was going on.


merc
If your I.Q is tested while your brain is still hovering in a drug induced fog, (which can last several years after giving up)

Hmm, hadn't thought of that actually. I wonder if any such studies have been done on it


residual cognitive effects of heavy marijuana use
Heavy marijuana use is associated with residual neuropsychological effects even after a day of supervised abstinence from the drug. However, the question remains open as to whether this impairment is due to a residue of drug in the brain, a withdrawal effect from the drug, or a frank neurotoxic effect of the drug. from marijuana

Not too conclusive, but it does seem to support that your impaired shortly after usage. I'd think that there'd ultimately have to be a recovery time too. But, I don't think that you can claim that drugs made you 'mentally handicapped', or at least, the sentencing would be different.


Cognitive Functioning of Long-term Heavy Cannabis Users
These results confirm that long-term heavy cannabis users show impairments in memory and attention that endure beyond the period of intoxication and worsen with increasing years of regular cannabis use.

Similar to the above.

Marijuana Abstinence Effects in Marijuana Smokers
Craving for marijuana, decreased appetite, sleep difficulty, and weight loss reliably changed across the smoking and abstinence phases. Aggression, anger, irritability, restlessness, and strange dreams increased significantly during one abstinence phase, but not the other. Collateral observers confirmed participant reports of these symptoms.

Hmm, not very helpful.

Neuropsychological Performance in Long-term Cannabis Users
Some cognitive deficits appear detectable at least 7 days after heavy cannabis use but appear reversible and related to recent cannabis exposure rather than irreversible and related to cumulative lifetime use.

Well, there ya go.

Cannabis and the brain
Although there are signs of mild cognitive impairment in chronic cannabis users there is little evidence that such impairments are irreversible, or that they are accompanied by drug-induced neuropathology. A proportion of regular users of cannabis develop tolerance and dependence on the drug. Some studies have linked chronic use of cannabis with an increased risk of psychiatric illness, but there is little evidence for any causal link

Similar results to the above (of course, this is mostly concerning pot usage, not much on, say, crack coc aine that came up in this quick search.

Man, Google Scholar Rocks!



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat
Frankly it might be a cause for dismissela, or even a mis trial

I'd think it would just affect sentencing no?


wyrde one
Meanwhile smart people can be executed without a question on their subjective perception of their crime?

The rationale is that a person with severe enough handicapp such that they didn't know what they were doing or that it was right or wrong, should be treated differently than people who willfully, independantly, and knowingly, commited a crime.


jungle jake
IQ can change

Then its meaningless as a test of aptitude. I tend to agree, whatever the tests are testing can change, for many reasons, and its meaningless.

but the average human only uses 10% of their brain. There's still 90% (though in a realistic manner this number is far lower) which can be tapped for additional synaptic pathways and glial cells.

This in fact is an urban legend with no basis in reality. Human beings use various proportions of their brains for many different functions.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:32 AM
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Well, I can't medically tell you how long somebody remains a "dope fiend" (if you've never known one you can't possibly understand the weight of that term), but I can tell you that a speed addict is capable of dang dear anything, and they are STUPID. Everything's way too fast and severely over-simplified to them.
The drug theory seems like a very strong one, and I would suggest that if there is a drug that can make somebody both criminally insane and probably retarded it's meth.(mind you that drug-induced insanity/retardation should be no defense)



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 10:27 PM
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*UPDATE*

A jury has decided he is intelligent enough to die. (That sounds so weird...)

He is to be put to death by lethal injection in December:



news.bbc.co.uk...

To escape execution in Virginia, an inmate has to prove he has an IQ of 70 or less; but Atkins scored 76 recently.

He had previously scored 59 in 1998.

...The jury considered a wide range of evidence to determine his mental capacity, including records from his childhood, various intelligence and memory tests and interviews with people who had known him as an adult.


I still find this whole thing bizarre. I'm against the death penalty anyway, but this case leaves an even worse taste in the mouth than usual.

Edit: Forgot Link.

[edit on 5-8-2005 by kegs]



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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I think the Supreme Court decision said that no one who was retarded could be put to death, but that didn't interfere with their responsibility for the crime. So if later testing shows that they're not retarded, they could again be eligable for death penalty. I admit it's bizarre.



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