Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fourth National Seminar on Mental Health and the Criminal Law

January 13-16, 2011
Royal Sonesta Hotel
New Orleans, LA

Program Contact: Chastain Smith
Registration Contact: LaShawn Parker


Our understanding of the etiology of a variety of mental impairments is rapidly evolving. We have learned much in recent years, for example, about the neurobiology of many mental disorders. Additionally, the Supreme Court’s decision in Atkins v. Virginia, has resulted in a richer and more contextual understanding of intellectual disability. There have also been a number of new insights into how jurors and judges "process" evidence regarding mental impairments. Finally, there have significant legal changes which impact the presentation of mental state evidence at all phases of a criminal trial.

But, new knowledge can be effectively utilized on behalf of indigent criminal defendants only if advocates are aware of and conversant with these trends and developments.

This seminar will address many of these new developments including the neurobiology of schizophrenia and other serious mental illness; the effects of trauma on brain functioning, cultural issues in mental health assessments and a number of other cutting edge topics. Additionally, there be a significant emphasis on the investigation, development and presentation of evidence of intellectual disability in capital cases including sessions on intellectual functioning and intelligence tests, assessing adaptive deficits, proof of age of onset, stereotypes of intellectual disability as well as sessions on strategies for Atkins hearings and trials.

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