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Chase v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

April 23, 2015

RICKY CHASE a/k/a RICKY ROY CHASE
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: COPIAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/06/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LAMAR PICKARD. TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: JAMES W. CRAIG, CYNTHIA ANN STEWART, MARVIN L. WHITE, JR.

AFFIRMED.

FOR APPELLANT: JAMES W. CRAIG.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: MARVIN L. WHITE, JR., JASON L. DAVIS.

CHANDLER, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT. WALLER, C.J., AND KING, J., JOIN THIS OPINION.

OPINION

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EN BANC.

CHANDLER, JUSTICE

[¶1] Ricky Chase filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) in the Circuit Court of Copiah County arguing that he is intellectually disabled under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S.Ct. 2242, 153 L.Ed.2d 335 (2002), and exempt from execution. The circuit court denied relief, finding that Chase had failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he is intellectually disabled.[1] Chase appeals, arguing that the circuit court made legal errors and that its fact-findings were clearly erroneous. We affirm. We take the opportunity presented by this case to recognize the definitions of intellectual disability promulgated by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in 2010 and the American Psychiatric Association in 2013. We hold that these definitions may be used in our courts in determining whether a criminal defendant is intellectually disabled for the purposes of the Eighth Amendment.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶2] Chase was convicted of the August 14, 1989, capital murder of Elmer Hart and sentenced to death. He appealed, raising twenty assignments of error related to the guilt and sentencing phases of his trial. This Court affirmed his conviction and sentence on February 24, 1994, and denied rehearing on December 8, 1994. Chase v. State, 645 So.2d 829 (Miss. 1994), cert. denied, Chase v. Mississippi, 515 U.S. 1123, 115 S.Ct. 2279, 132 L.Ed.2d 282, (1995), reh. denied, 515 U.S. 1179, 116 S.Ct. 20, 132 L.Ed.2d 903 (1995). On July 15, 1996, Chase filed an application for leave to file a motion for PCR pursuant to the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act (UPCCRA). Miss. Code Ann. § § 99-39-1 to 99-39-29 (Rev. 2007). This Court denied his application on August 7, 1997. Chase v. State, 699 So.2d 521 (Miss. 1997).

[¶3] Next, Chase filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. See Chase v. Epps, 74 F.App'x 339, 340 (5th Cir. 2003). The district court denied relief but issued a certificate of appealability on a single issue concerning Chase's trial counsel's handling of the evidence of his mental retardation. See id. at 341. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of habeas relief on August 7, 2003. Id. at 345. The Fifth Circuit denied Chase's petition for panel rehearing and his petition for rehearing en banc. Chase v. Epps, 83 F.App'x 673 (5th Cir. 2003). The United States Supreme Court denied Chase's petition for a writ of certiorari on May 17, 2004. Chase v. Epps, 541 U.S. 1050, 124 S.Ct. 2180, 158 L.Ed.2d 746 (2004).

[¶4] On June 20, 2002, the Supreme Court decided Atkins v. Virginia, which held that the execution of an intellectually disabled individual constitutes cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Atkins, 536 U.S. at 321, 122 S.Ct. 2242. This decision prompted Chase to file a successive application for leave to file a motion for PCR in this Court. Chase v. State, 873 So.2d 1013, 1016 (Miss. 2004). We held that, although the UPCCRA permits a defendant to file only one motion for PCR,

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the intervening Atkins decision excepted Chase's case from that procedural bar. Id. (citing Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-27(9) (Supp. 2000)). In ruling on Chase's application, this Court set out two definitions of mental retardation to be used in our courts and established the prerequisites for a hearing and " the procedure to be used in reaching a determination of mental retardation." Id. at 1027-30. We granted the application because Chase had met the prerequisites and, on May 20, 2004, we remanded the case to the circuit court for an evidentiary hearing on the issue of whether Chase is intellectually disabled within the meaning of Atkins. Id. at 1030.

[¶5] The evidentiary hearing occurred on August 16-17, 2010. On November 8, 2010, the circuit court issued an order finding that Chase is not intellectually disabled. In so holding, the circuit court simply adopted the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law submitted by the State. Chase appealed, and, on January 15, 2013, this Court issued an order vacating the circuit court's judgment and remanding for the circuit court to issue its own findings of fact and conclusions of law. Chase v. State, 112 So.3d 421, 422 (Miss. 2013). We also clarified that " psychologists and psychiatrists rendering opinions on mental retardation in death penalty cases may rely on the testing administered by others." Id. at 421 (citing M.R.E. 703). On May 6, 2013, the circuit court entered an order finding that Chase is not intellectually disabled and later denied his motion for reconsideration. Chase has appealed.

DEFINITIONS OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY

A. Atkins/Chase standard

[¶6] In Chase's 2002 appeal, this Court addressed the Atkins decision. We recognized " that Atkins exempts all mentally retarded persons -- even those who are minimally mentally retarded -- from execution." Chase, 873 So.2d at 1026. Because Atkins left to the states the task of defining intellectual disability, and because our Legislature had not undertaken that task, we provided two complementary definitions of intellectual disability that were cited with approval in Atkins. Id. at 1027-28; see Foster v. State, 848 So.2d 172, 175 (Miss. 2003) (adopting the definitions from Atkins). The definition from the American Association on Mental Retardation states:

Mental retardation refers to substantial limitations in present functioning. It is characterized by significantly subaverage intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with related limitations in two or more of the following applicable adaptive skill areas: communication, self-care, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, and work, Mental retardation manifests before age 18.

Id. at 1027 (quoting Atkins, 536 U.S. at 308 n.3, 122 S.Ct. 2242 (citing Mental Retardation: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Support 5 (9th ed.1992))). The American Psychiatric Association's definition states:

The essential feature of Mental Retardation is significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning (Criterion A) that is accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety (Criterion B). The onset must occur before age 18 years (Criterion C). Mental Retardation has many different etiologies and may be seen as a final common pathway of various pathological processes that affect

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the functioning of the central nervous system." Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 39 (4th ed. 2000).

Chase, 873 So.2d at 1028 (quoting Atkins, 536 U.S. at 308 n. 3, 122 S.Ct. 2242). This Court held that these definitions " provide a clear standard to be used in this State by our trial courts in determining whether, for Eighth Amendment purposes, a criminal defendant is mentally retarded." Chase, 873 So.2d at 1028.

[¶7] We also recognized that, while mild intellectual disability describes persons with an IQ between 55 and 70, intellectual disability " may, under certain conditions, be present in an individual with an IQ of up to 75." Chase, 873 So.2d at 1028 n.18; see Hall v. Florida, __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. 1986, 188 L.Ed.2d 1007 (2014). We observed that

IQ, alone, does not determine mental retardation. According to the DSM-IV, " it is possible to diagnose Mental Retardation in individuals with IQ's between 70 and 75 who exhibit significant deficits in adaptive behavior." Conversely, Mental Retardation would not be diagnosed in an individual with an IQ lower than 70 if there are no significant deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning.

Chase, 873 So.2d at 1028 n.18.

[¶8] Chase promulgated a procedure to be used to determine a defendant's claim of intellectual disability. We held that, for entitlement to a hearing on the issue of intellectual disability, the defendant must produce an expert who testifies that: (1) the defendant is mentally retarded, as that term is defined by the American Association on Mental Retardation and/or the American Psychiatric Association; and (2) the defendant has completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory--II (MMPI--II) and/or other similar tests, and the defendant is not malingering. Chase, 873 So.2d at 1029. Subsequently, this Court clarified that our trial courts are free to use the MMPI-II or similar tests, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales Test, the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS), the Validity Indicator Profile (VIP), and the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), and/or other tests suggested and approved by mental health professionals in determining intellectual disability and/or malingering. Lynch v. State, 951 So.2d 549, 556 (Miss. 2007). At a hearing on intellectual disability, the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that " (1) he has significantly subaverage intellectual functioning; (2) he has deficits in two or more adaptive skills; (3) he was eighteen or younger when the retardation manifested itself; and (4) he is not malingering." Thorson v. State, 76 So.3d 667, 676-77 (Miss. 2011). We also have held that, because Atkins is concerned with whether an individual was intellectually disabled at the time of the crime and whether the intellectual disability manifested prior to age eighteen, intellectual disability must be assessed retrospectively to those relevant times. Goodin v. State, 102 So.3d 1102, 1115 (Miss. 2012). To this end, an individual's present functioning is relevant if it is informative of the individual's condition at the time of the crime and/or prior to age eighteen.

B. Recent definitions of intellectual disability

[¶9] Since our adoption of the definitions of mental retardation in Foster and Chase, our Legislature has not enacted legislation addressing the constitutional ban on the execution of the intellectually

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disabled. Thus, it remains this Court's duty " to set the limits and define the procedure which will safeguard the Eighth Amendment protection of mentally retarded persons, as required by Atkins." Chase, 873 So.2d at 1027. But in Hall v. Florida, the United States Supreme Court held that states' discretion to define intellectual disability for Eighth Amendment purposes is not unlimited. Hall, __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. at 1998. We are mindful of Hall's directive that the states lack " unfettered discretion to define the full scope of the constitutional protection" and that " Atkins provide[s] substantial guidance on the definition of intellectual disability." Hall, __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. at 1998-99.

[¶10] This case presents the Court with the opportunity to recognize developments in the field of assessing intellectual disability that have manifested since Atkins and Chase. Since Atkins, the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR), recently renamed the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD), promulgated new definitions of intellectual disability that changed the terminology applicable to adaptive functioning. In 2002, the AAMR promulgated the following definition: " Mental Retardation is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills." Mental Retardation: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Support 1 (10th ed. 2002). In 2010, the AAIDD promulgated a definition that changed the term " mental retardation" to " intellectual disability." The 2010 definition states: " Intellectual Disability is characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills." Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Support 1 (11th ed. 2010). Intellectual disability must have originated prior to age eighteen. Id.

[¶11] The 2010 AAIDD manual defines each domain of adaptive functioning. The conceptual skills domain includes " language; reading and writing; and money, time, and number concepts." Id. at 44. The social skills domain includes " interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naï veté (i.e., wariness), follows rules/obeys laws, avoids being victimized, and social problem solving." Id. The practical skills domain includes " activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, use of money, safety, health care, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, and use of the telephone." Id. For a diagnosis of intellectual disability, an individual must have significant deficits in one of the three adaptive functioning domains. Id. at 43.

[¶12] In 2013, after the hearing presently under review, the American Psychiatric Association also promulgated a new definition of intellectual disability: " Intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) is a disorder with onset during the developmental period that includes both intellectual and adaptive functioning deficits in conceptual, social, and practical domains." Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 33 (5th ed. 2013). The APA's description of the adaptive functioning domains is similar to the AAIDD's description:

The conceptual (academic) domain involves competence in memory, language, reading, writing, math reasoning, acquisition of practical knowledge, problems solving, and judgment in novel situations, among others. The social domain involves awareness of others' thoughts, feelings, and experiences; empathy; interpersonal communication skills; friendship abilities; and social judgment,

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among others. The practical domain involves learning and self-management across life settings, including personal care, job responsibilities, money management, recreation, self-management of behavior, and school and work task organization, among others.

Id. at 37. The adaptive functioning prong is met when the individual has significant limitations in one of the three domains. Id. at 38.

[¶13] The new AAIDD and APA definitions are similar and require the same three basic elements of intellectual disability as the earlier definitions: significantly subaverage intellectual functioning, significant deficits in adaptive behavior, and manifestation before age eighteen. Although the new definitions changed the terminology applicable to adaptive functioning, other courts have recognized that " the exact wording of the various standards makes little substantive difference in this Atkins context." U.S. v. Williams, 1 F.Supp.3d 1124, 1146 (D. Haw. 2014) (citing U.S. v. Hardy, 762 F.Supp.2d 849, 879-80 (E.D. La. 2010)). This is because both the earlier and later standards promulgated by the AAIDD and the APA " direct clinicians to the same standardized measures of adaptive behavior, such as the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales--II (VABS--II) and the [AAIDD's] Adaptive Behavior Scale." Williams, 1 F.Supp.3d at 1147 (quoting Hardy, 762 F.Supp.2d at 879-80). And " [e]ven after release of the DSM--5, prong two still 'generally requires a more expansive investigation of a defendant's life history and skill levels than could be fully evaluated through use of a normed instrument,'" and still involves " significantly more subjective clinical judgment." Id. (quoting U.S. v. Salad, 959 F.Supp.2d 865, 878 (E.D. Va. 2013)).

[¶14] The experts presented by both Chase and the State relied on the 2010 AAIDD definition in this case. Dr. Gerald O'Brien testified that, to a practicing psychologist, the differences in the 2010 AAIDD definition and the Atkins/Chase definitions are not professionally significant. Dr. Daniel Reschly, who relied on the 2010 AAIDD definition throughout his report, testified that the conclusions he reached under that definition were comparable to those reached under the Atkins/Chase definitions. He testified that, under either the Atkins/Chase definitions or the 2010 AAIDD definition, Chase had significant limitations in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior that manifested prior to age eighteen.

[¶15] This Court is faced with the reality of evolving standards for determining intellectual disability in the medical community. While a legal determination of intellectual disability for the purposes of the Eighth Amendment is distinct from a medical diagnosis, Hall __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. at 2000, legal determinations of intellectual disability are informed by established clinical standards. See Hall, __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. at 1993. Hall held that " Atkins provide[s] substantial guidance on the definition of intellectual disability." Hall, __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. at 1999. And Hall recognized the significant role of the medical community in informing legal determinations of intellectual disability, stating:

That this Court, state courts, and state legislatures consult and are informed by the work of medical experts in determining intellectual disability is unsurprising. Those professionals use their learning and skills to study and consider the consequences of the classification schemes they devise in the diagnosis of persons with mental or psychiatric disorders or disabilities. Society relies upon medical and professional expertise to define and explain how to

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diagnose the mental condition at issue. And the definition of intellectual disability by skilled professionals has implications far beyond the confines of the death penalty: for it is relevant to education, access to social programs, and medical treatment plans. In determining who qualifies as intellectually disabled, it is proper to consult the medical community's opinions.

Hall, __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. at 1993.

[¶16] In 2004, this Court adopted the AAMR and APA definitions of intellectual disability cited in Atkins. As part of the medical community's evolving understanding of intellectual disability and its diagnosis, those institutions have promulgated new definitions of intellectual disability that are generally accepted in the medical community. The new definitions have not materially altered the diagnosis of intellectual disability but have provided new terminology. Williams, 1. F.Supp.3d at 1146. We find that judicial recognition of the new terminology conforms with the directives of Atkins and Hall and will facilitate legal determinations of intellectual disability by allowing our courts to rely on the newer, generally-accepted definitions most frequently used by modern clinicians. We now adopt the 2010 AAIDD and 2013 APA definitions of intellectual disability as appropriate for use to determine intellectual disability in the courts of this state in addition to the definitions promulgated in Atkins and Chase.

FACTS

[¶17] At the hearing, Chase presented the testimony of Dr. Daniel Reschly, a professor of education and psychology at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, who is permanently licensed as a school psychologist in Arizona and Iowa, and Dr. Gerald O'Brien, a licensed Mississippi psychologist. Considering test results, personal history records, an interview with Chase, and Dr. Reschly's third-party interviews, both opined that Chase was intellectually disabled. Chase also called Amanda Gugliano, a postdoctoral clinician at the Mississippi State Hospital who performed the IQ testing of Chase during his mental evaluation at the state hospital on January 11, 2010. The State presented the testimony of Dr. Gilbert Macvaugh, a licensed psychologist who supervised Chase's mental evaluation at the state hospital. The psychologists' reports and the documentation of Chase's personal history on which they relied was admitted into evidence.

A. Chase's evidence

1. Gugliano

[¶18] Gugliano testified that she administered the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition (WAIS-4), to Chase to determine his IQ score. She testified that Chase's full-scale IQ score was 72, and that this score was adjusted to 71 due to the Flynn Effect, a phenomenon under which IQ scores become artificially inflated as the test becomes outdated. She testified that the margin of error for the WAIS-4 is plus or minus five points, meaning that Chase's full-scale IQ would fall between 67 and 76. The report noted that, in 1989, after his capital-murder arrest, Chase had been assessed for intellectual disability by Dr. John W. Perry. Dr. Perry administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R), the Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised (WRAT-R), and the Wechsler Memory Scale and assessed Chase as having a full-scale IQ of 71. Gugliano also administered the TOMM, which showed that Chase was not malingering, or pretending to have, cognitive impairment. However, the state hospital's report noted that Chase was ill and fatigued when the tests were administered

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and that these conditions may have negatively affected his performance.

2. Dr. Reschly

[¶19] Dr. Reschly testified that he has studied the psychology of intellectual disability since 1967. He specialized in school psychology, and he testified that school psychologists " are responsible for more diagnoses in [intellectual disability] than any other psychological or medical specialty." He testified that, for twenty years, he has been active in the American Psychological Association Division 33, a division devoted to developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities. He taught psychology programs at the University of Arizona and Iowa State University. Dr. Reschly testified that, in the course of his work, he supervises counseling psychologists who evaluate individuals for intellectual disability. He testified that he has evaluated individuals for intellectual disability on numerous occasions and has presented several papers to the American Psychological Association on the question of intellectual disability in death penalty cases.

[¶20] Dr. Reschly relied on the testing performed at the state hospital and by Dr. Perry to find that Chase met the intellectual-functioning prong of the test for intellectual disability. He also found that Chase had significant limitations in adaptive functioning that manifested prior to age eighteen. Dr. Reschly expressed his findings in terms of the 2010 AAIDD definition of intellectual disability and found that Chase had significant limitations in the conceptual, social, and practical domains. But he also testified that, under the 2002 definitions, Chase was deficient in seven areas: communication, self-direction, functional academics, work, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, and safety. To reach these conclusions, Dr. Reschly relied on Chase's school records from the Hazlehurst Public Schools, the 2010 Mississippi State Hospital Report, Dr. Perry's 1989 report, Chase's social security records, his driver's license records, testimony from Chase's trial, and interviews with Chase's teachers, relatives, and friends who knew him prior to age eighteen.

a. Conceptual skills

[¶21] Dr. Reschly stated that " poor and failing school performance prior to age 18 is a significant indicator of significant limitations in the conceptual skills domain." He identified a downward trend in Chase's grades from first to tenth grade. Chase's school records show that he performed above average from the first through fourth grades, showed some decline in the fifth grade, and began performing below average in the sixth grade. He repeated the tenth grade and dropped out of school before completing his second year in tenth grade. Dr. Reschly stated that this downward trend in grades is " frequently seen with persons with mental retardation due to the increasingly abstract nature of the school curriculum and academic demands."

[¶22] Chase's ninth-grade science teacher, Ida Minor, his civics teacher, Foster Topp, and his sister-in-law, Sita Johnson, all said that they saw Chase daily and that he had been very slow to learn and to apply abstract information. Topp said Chase was among the lowest students in his class. Chase's middle-school girlfriend, Sandra Adams, and Shirley Norrells, the mother of Chase's high-school girlfriend, Deborah Norrells, said that Chase was exceptionally slow and needed assistance with his homework. According to Dr. Reschly's investigation, Hazlehurst Public Schools did not have special education services during the period that Chase was in school from 1975 to 1985.

[¶23] Dr. Reschly found that Chase had language deficits. He found from his interview with Chase that he " produced

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verbal language at a very high rate, but frequently was repetitive, rambling, directionless, and without clear purpose." He opined that Chase frequently did not understand his own statements, could not organize his thoughts logically, and jumped from one topic to another in the same sentence. Dr. Reschly provided several examples of these sentences, including, " My sister, you gotta catch her, she works all the time, like a kangaroo," " One of my teachers called my mother, she said she was pleased with my progress in school but didn't like the girl," and, asked what he learned in the Job Corps, Chase stated " welding . . . I started in culinary arts and business administration but once again, chasing girls, got lured into welding." Dr. Reschly found these and other statements " either illogical or patently untrue." He also found that Chase did not understand his culpability for the capital murder, which showed abstract thinking deficits. He interviewed Jerome Cleveland, who had played football with Chase. Cleveland said that, while Chase was a fast and successful football player, he had been too intellectually slow to follow the plays.

[¶24] Dr. Reschly noted that several persons he interviewed said that Chase often told " wildly improbable" stories and often misunderstood normal conversations. Dr. Reschly found Chase's statement that he had been expelled from school for having sex on campus to be untrue because Minor said that had never happened and if it had, the teachers would have known. Dr. Reschly also found Chase's statement that, at age twelve, while trying to dunk a basketball, he had hit his head on the basketball rim so hard he had passed out, to be untrue because it was implausible. He stated that Chase also gave incredible explanations for leaving employment, such as a fear of snakes, intolerance of cold weather, excessive heat, and a sexual liaison. Dr. Reschly stated that his interviews indicated that the real reason Chase had left these jobs was his incompetence, and Chase's incredible explanations were an attempt to pass as normal, which is indicative of intellectual disability.

[¶25] Addressing reading and writing skills, Dr. Reschly found that Chase had scored in the twentieth percentile on several achievement tests administered during his childhood and adult years. He opined that these scores rendered him functionally literate, but that they conflicted with the observations of those around Chase. Dr. Reschly said that several observers claimed Chase could not do his own homework and could not read well enough to understand simple directions, such as those on a box of macaroni and cheese. Nonetheless, Dr. Reschly found that " Chase has a relative strength, for a person with mental retardation, in reading and writing." On cross-examination, he stated that Chase's reading and writing skills were not at the level typically found with intellectual disability. But he stated that Chase's functional literacy does not rule out intellectual disability, and that persons with intellectual disability " are expected to have strengths and weaknesses."

[¶26] Dr. Reschly also found Chase deficient in money, time, and number concepts. Chase's mother said that Chase did not understand money. Johnson, who knew him from ages twelve through fourteen, said that he did not understand money and could not tell time accurately. Dr. Reschly noted Chase's statement in his interview that he did not trust banks with his money. Dr. Reschly stated that Chase could not understand the seven-percent sales tax. He opined that Chase's difficulty telling time contributed to his chronic lateness and missed appointments in middle and high school.

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b. Social Skills

[¶27] Dr. Reschly found that Chase had significant limitations in the area of social skills caused by his intellectual limitations. He found that Chase made ineffective attempts to fit in, was heavily dependent on a benefactor for social guidance, and was naive, gullible, and frequently exploited by others. While Chase attempted to fit in with peers by telling tall stories, he seemed oblivious to his peers's negative reactions to his tall stories, had trouble following the gist of conversations, and repeated others' ideas. Dr. Reschly described this behavior as an attempt to pass as normal. His teachers, Minor and Johnson, said that Chase did not interact normally with other children and often befriended younger children. Dr. Reschly opined that Chase had befriended younger children in order to better understand the social interaction and that this was characteristic of intellectual disability. Shirley Norrells said that Chase rarely interacted with other boys visiting her home. Chase's mother and Shirley both recalled that Chase's girlfriend Deborah had controlled Chase, including during social interactions and daily activities. Dr. Reschly stated that Chase confirmed that he had few friends as a child and never had a best friend. Dr. Reschly opined this history was consistent with intellectual disability, because most intellectually disabled persons have " inadequate social skills and limited interactions with normal peers."

[¶28] Dr. Reschly found that Chase exhibited deficits in social responsibility; he was chronically late; he could not complete his homework; and he could not reliably purchase items from a grocery list. Topp, Chase's civics teacher, said that Chase's failing grade in his class showed that he was " really, really low" and could not understand his rights and responsibilities as a citizen. Dr. Reschly also found a deficit in social responsibility from the fact that Chase may have fathered a child out of wedlock. On cross-examination, Dr. Reschly admitted that ...


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