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Chapter 14 Forensic Psychology - Nov. 22, 2012.docx

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University of Saskatchewan
PSY 257
Donna Darbellay

Chapter 14: Forensic Psychology November-22-12 10:19 AM 1. What is forensic psychology? “Forensic” from the Latin forensis A psychologist acts as an expert applying psychological principles & knowledge to individuals involved in legal issues and proceedings. Various areas that require testing, test development, prediction, evaluation 2. How do Law and Science differ in their philosophies? Law (mutually exclusive positions) Act: freely chosen or not chosen Decisive: G or NG Adversarial process Mutually exclusive approach Psychology (dimensional positions) Will is not entirely free Indecision is tolerated Collaborative  Science  Will is not entirely free.  Indecision is tolerated.  Collaborative. 3. What is the difference between an eye witness & an expert witness? Eye witness Cannot offer opinion Speak to direct observation only Expert Witness Offers an expert opinion Restricted to profession Expertise must be established in court 4. Discuss some ethical considerations in forensic psychology? New area—no formal training Informed consent different Limited confidentiality – in the forum Fees NOT contingent but prior to service Sufficient data, fidelity Impact on others, ST & LT & personal life 5. What is Criminal Competency? Criminal court—society protecting society (not civil issues) Competency is the client’s ability to stand trial & be sentenced Based on social values: ◦Immoral to punish person for acts of which they have no control ◦Every person has right to just representation 6. What are conditions for criminal competency in the USA? Requires that the defendant: Understand the charges Understand the proceedings of the court Understand implications and able to assist in own defense ◦Competency does not require intelligence 7. How do Forensic psychologists assess criminal competency? Shift of the burden of proof Evaluates only present competency--Usually a Structured Interview Previous records required for evaluation of past and present 30-00% found to be incompetent –usually severe disorders such as schizophrenia Incompetency results in treatment 8. Describe 3 issues related to psychological evaluations for sentencing. Treatment---Need? Potential value of treatment? Culpability---Identify bio and social factors that might have contributed to the act Danger/risk---Most controversial ◦Valuable information to court for sentencing & parole or probation 9. What is the insanity defense and how often is it used? Insanity- is a legal term Guilt requires 2 elements: mens rea-intended (mindful) actus rea-voluntary (will full) NGRI-refers to the psychological state of the person at the time of the crime NGRI-argues mens rea---Not used often; Usually unsuccessful ◦Placed the burden of proof on the defendant (clear and convincing evidence) ◦40-70% released within 2 months 10. What are some common personal descriptors associated with successful with NGRI? Older Female (Towers, 1996; Morris, 1992) Better educated (Morris, 1992) Single History of prior hospitalization (82% had been hospitalized at least once) Considered extremely disturbed (89% were schizophrenic or mentally retarded) Details of the crime are unusual (Pickel, 1998) Race and SES (McGinley) 11. What are the results after pleading NGRI? People who plead NGRI and win -spend more time in mental hospital than they would have in prison People who plead NGRI and lose -spend more time in prison than if hadn’t -receive sentences 22% longer than non-NGRI pleaders • -67% of unsuccessful NGRI pleaders went to prison compared to 11% of all felony arrests 12. What is diminished capacity/ GBMI? NGRI- usually resulted in hospitalization INSTEAD of incarceration GBMI – Guilt
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