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Lecture 2

week 2 Reading Notes

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PSYC 268
Deborah Connolly

PSYC 268 – Fall 2012 Week 2 Book Readings: Chapter 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO LAW AND PSYCHOLOGY FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY – practice of psychology within or in conjunction with either or both sides of the legal system (legal and civil) - Application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system (American Board of Forensic Psychology, 2007) - Professional practice by psychologists who foreseeably and regularly provide professional psychological expertise to the judicial system (APA, 2001) - A field that involves the application of psychological research, theory, practice, and traditional specialized methodology to a legal question (Goldstein, 2003) - Scientific study of the effect the law has on people, and the effect people have on the law (Ogloff and Finkelmann, 1999) HISTORY OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY - Hugo Munsterberg – director of Harvard’s Psychological Laboratory in the 1900s o Strong advocate of the application of psychological research to legal issues o His claims for the contributions of psychology to law were not supported by empirical research - Jay Ziskin (and Eric Dreikurs) was the driving force of law and psychology, and led to the development of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) THE ROLES OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGISTS - Psychological evaluation and expert testimony regarding criminal forensic issues such as trial competency, waiver of Miranda Rights, criminal responsibility, death penalty mitigation, battered woman syndrome, domestic violence, drug dependence, and sexual disorders - Testimony and evaluation regarding civil issues such as personal injury, child custody, employment discrimination, mental disability, product liability, professional malpractice, civil commitment, and guardianship - Assessment, treatment, and consultation regarding individuals with a high risk for aggressive behavior in the community, in the workplace, in treatment settings, etc - Research, testimony, and consultation on psychological issues impacting the legal process such as eyewitness testimony, jury selection, children’s testimony, repressed memories, etc - Specialized treatment service to individuals involved with the legal system - Consultation to lawmakers about public policy issues with psychological implications - Consultation and training to law enforcement, criminal justice, and correctional systems - Consultation and training to mental health systems and practitioners on forensic health issues - Mediation and conflict resolution - Policy and program development in the psychology-law arena - Teaching, training, and supervision or graduate students, psychology, and psychiatry interns/residents, and law students Professional Associations and Publications - American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) o 2/3 of 2,100 members are male o 78% of 600 student members are female o Minorities are underrepresented - American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) - European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL) - Australian and New Zealand Association for Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law (ANZAPPL) OVERVIEW OF LAW Sources of Law: Four Sources of Law in the United States 1. U.S. Constitution – referred to as the “Law of the Land” because it supersedes all other laws o defines the powers and authority of the federal and state governments and delineated the kinds of laws that Federal Congress and the state legislatures could pass 2. Statutes – federal and state laws o The powers of Congress, or the federal legislature, to pass laws are set out in Article I of the constitution o State legislatures have the power to pass many laws concerning many domains of interest to forensic psychology i.e. criminal law, civil commitment, family law, etc 3. Administrative Rules and Regulations – federal or state government may delegate some of its powers to specialized administrative agencies through authorizing statutes o Many of these agencies will have the authority to make rules and regulations relevant to their responsibilities and within their area of expertise 4. Common Law – often referred to as court- or judge-made law o They review earlier decisions to determine whether a previous case was sufficiently similar to the current one COURT SYSTEMS Federal System - Stare decisis – principle that prior court decisions establish precedence for current cases - Writ of certiorari – request for a higher court to direct a lower court, tribunal, or public authority to send that record in a given case for review - District Courts – hear a range of cases including both civil and criminal cases; bottom of the pyramid - U.S. Courts of Appeal – also known as U.S. Circuit Courts; midlevel of the pyramid o Hear appeals from District Courts within their regions o Decided by the majority of a three-judge panel - U.S. Supreme Court – the single court at the top of the pyramid o At least four (out of nine) judges agree to hear the case, then certiorari is granted State System – some state systems rely on four levels of courts with 1. Courts of limi
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