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Fitness to plead and stand trial: The impact of mild intellectual disability

Taylor, ILA; (2011) Fitness to plead and stand trial: The impact of mild intellectual disability. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Part one of this thesis reviews the literature on the interrogative suggestibility of individuals with intellectual disability. The first section describes the historical background of interrogative suggestibility and the development of the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales. This is followed by a critical review of the methodology and findings of studies investigating the differences in suggestibility of people with and without ID and the implications for clinical practice. Part two is an empirical study investigating the differences between adults with and without mild intellectual disability (mild ID) on an ecologically valid measure of fitness to plead and stand trial (FTP) based on realistic court proceedings. As expected, the adults with mild ID performed more poorly on all aspects of the FTP task matched to the five Pritchard criteria indicating that they found it significantly harder to understand various aspects of the trial process and proceedings. There were also significant positive correlations between most of the measures of intellectual and memory functioning and performance on the FTP task. The limitations of the study, recommendations and clinical and legal implications of the findings are discussed. Part three is a critical appraisal that focuses on two key issues related to the empirical study. Firstly, the current method of assessing IQ and the diagnostic criteria of ID is discussed and particularly in relation to the nature of definitions of ID for research and clinical practice. The review then considers the use of entirely novel measures in research with particular reference to the use of a novel measure of FTP as described in this paper.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Fitness to plead and stand trial: The impact of mild intellectual disability
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English

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