Case

Chase v. Hall

Death Penalty

The MacArthur Justice Center has filed a habeas corpus petition in Federal Court to challenge Mississippi’s refusal to admit that Ricky Chase, who has been on Death Row since 1989, is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution under the Eighth Amendment. Mr. Chase’s IQ was tested in 1990 and again in 2010; both times, his IQ fell within the range indicating intellectual disability; indeed, the scores were only two points apart. Despite this, after a “staff interview” in which Mr. Chase related, among other things, that he washes the sodium from prepackaged ramen noodles in light of his high blood pressure, that his sister “works like a kangaroo” and other nonsensical statements, the Mississippi State Hospital determined that he did not seem intellectually disabled because of such things as his general sociability and his correct identification of college football coaches and the basics of the intentional grounding rule. Unlike the State Hospital team, Mr. Chase’s expert, the editor of the Social Security Administration’s handbook on intellectual disability, interviewed multiple individuals who knew Mr. Chase before his arrest. The State court judges agreed with the State Hospital staff that Mr. Chase did have any adaptive behavior impairments and was therefore not intellectually disabled.