Chapter Nineteen by rH9YB1

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									Chapter Nineteen
FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
  1.   What historical events influenced the
       development of forensic psychology specialty?
  2.   What are the major roles engaged in by forensic
       psychologists?
  3.   What are the similarities and differences
       between the three major league standards of
       insanity?
  4.   What role might a clinical psychologist play in a
       child custody decision?
  5.   How might a forensic psychologist contribute to
       the following process: jury selection, preparing a
       witness, aiding an attorney who will cross-
       examine an eyewitness?
Perspective and History
   Forensic Psychology involves “the application of the methods, theories,
    and concepts of psychology to the legal system”
   1954 the Supreme Court finally paid attention to the social sciences:
    Brown v. Board of Education.
   Today psychologists regularly testify as experts in virtually every area
    of criminal, civil, family, and administrative law. See table 19.1
   In 1978, the American Board of Forensic Psychology was established
    to help the public identify qualified practitioner and promote the
    discipline, has served to allay some of these concerns.
   In edition to being well trained in clinical psychology more generally,
    clinical psychologists specializing in forensic psychology must gain
    expertise in the law so that their testimony, consultation and research
    are well informed.
   Forensic Scientist follow the code of American Academy of Forensic
    Sciences
     – This code stresses
           • Completeness and accuracy in stating ones professional
             qualifications
           • Technical and scientific accuracy and honesty in reports and
             testimony
           • Impartiality
Major Activities of Forensic
Psychologists
   Expert Witness- can be anyone who can provide information
    that, by its uniqueness in relation to some science, profession,
    training, or experience, is unlikely to be known to the average
    juror.
   Bases of clinical psychological expertise
    include:education,formal training, and subsequent learning,
    relevant experience, research and publications, knowledge and
    application of scientific principles, and use of special tests and
    measurements.
   Expert testimony’s are not allowed to give conclusions as to the
    defendants; sanity or insanity.
Criminal Cases
   Insanity Plea is seldom successful;defendant assumed
    responsible
   The burden of proof is on the defense. The defendant must
    prove that she or he was insane at the time of criminal offence.
    Insanity is a legal term.
   M’Naghten Rule- oldest standard
     – Successful insanity defense must prove that the person
       committed the unlawful act while “laboring under such a
       defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know
       the nature and quality of the act he was doing”
   Durham Standard- second standard
     – “accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was
       the product of mental disease or mental defect.”
   Ali Standard- is viewed as the most liberal or expansive in that
    criminal responsibility can be excused if mental illness causes a
    lack of substantial capacity to understand what one is doing (a
    cognitive deficit) or an inability to control one’s behavior ( a
    volitional deficit).
   Hinckley case ( attempted assassination of Pres Reagan)- not
    guilty by reason of insanity verdict.
   Guilty but mentally ill verdict - convicted is sent to a psychiatric
    facility for treatment, and when judged sane, sent to prison to
    serve what is left of sentence.
   Questions of competency:
     – Can a person appreciate the nature of the charges
     – Can the person cooperate in a reasonable way with counsel
     – Can the person appreciate the proceedings of the court?
Civil Cases
   Commitment to Mental Institutions- individual may be
    involuntarily detained for hours or days depending on particular
    state laws.
     – Involuntary commitment: against the will of the individual
          • Dangerous to self or others,disturbed or disabled as to
            be incapable of making responsible decisions about self-
            care and hospitalization, or requires treatment or care in
            a hospital
     – Voluntary commitment: individual agrees to admission and
        may leave at any time.
     Domestic Issues
     – Child Custody-”best interest of the child”
     – Custody evaluations- child’s development and
        psychological needs,each parent's;s strengths and
        limitations, and the way each member of the family interacts
        with each other.
Rights of Patients
   Patients who are involuntarily hospitalized have a
    constitutional right to individualized treatment that
    offers them a realistic chance for “cure” or at least
    improvement. The courts have been less attentive to
    the rights of voluntary patients because it is assumed
    they can leave the hospital if they choose.

   Controversy lies in the right to refuse treatment or
    medication, not every involuntary hospitalized patient
    is mentally incompetent and these individuals have
    the right to decide their own fate.
Predicting Dangerousness
 Therapists have the duty to protect potential
  victims from their patients’ violent behavior
  and as amoral imperative, we all have the
  obligation to protect others from those who
  are deemed dangerous.
 How accurately can psychologists or anyone
  else predict dangerous behavior?
 Since it is so difficult to make these
  predictions, psychological evaluations may
  constitute the largest single category
  requested by the justice system.
Predicting cont….


 Evaluations can range from predicting
  sexual violence, child abuse, and work
  place violence to predicting suicidal to
  homicidal behavior.
 These evaluations are used in defining
  whether or not a prisoner receives bail,
  sentencing options, and work-release
  status.
Psychological Treatment

 The rights for prisoners getting
  psychological treatment or rehabilitation
  are still in a state of flux.
 When the right for psychological
  treatment is recognized, it is normally
  for adult prisoners who are severely
  disturbed mentally.
Consultation
    There are several aspects of consultation.
    Jury selection- where a consulting psychologist works
     with attorneys to discover biases in different jurors.
    Jury shadowing- where the jury consultant hires
     analogous jurors to and monitors their reaction to the
     testimony presented in trial.
    Public Opinion Surveys- here, an attorney may hire a
     psychological consultant to determine the public’s
     eye recognition of some company’s name or symbol.
     Witness Preparation- The idea here is to help
     witnesses present their testimony better without
     changing the facts to which their testimony is
     directed.
Research and Forensic Psychology

   Several areas of research have become particularly
    identified with Forensic psychology.
   In Eyewitness Testimony there has been extensive
    research and many recommendations so that the
    innocent are not convicted.
   In jury selection a great deal of research has been
    done on just how jurors make sense out of evidence
    and process information.
   The better we understand the conditions that affect
    how juries think and reach decisions, the better our
    judicial system will be.

								
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