Study Guides (238,613)
Canada (115,253)
Psychology (1,612)


5 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 2990A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Psychology & the Law 2 Chapter 2: Forensic Psychology in Police Investigations Part 1: Fitness to Stand Trial A. What does “fitness” mean? –to receive a fair trial, people should be able to defend themselves against accusers - able to defend themselves B. What if person is unfit to stand trial? –person should not be tried Q. How do we know whether a person is fit (or unfit) to stand trial? C. Legal standards for determining fitness 1. Prior to 1836: “Ability to enter a plea” -reasons for NOT entering pleas: -“mute of malice” (deliberately silent) if so, can use torture to extract a plea -“mute by visitation of God” (ex: deaf, mute, insane) if so, person should not be tried 2. R. v. Pritchard (1936): Charged with bestiality. Also a deaf-mute, so couldn’t enter plea; couldn’t be tried for his crime -court establishes a clearer legal standard: -able to enter a plea, AND -must have “sufficient intellect” to understand proceedings Canada’s fitness standard for the next 156 years 3. Canada’s Bill C-30 (1992): Revisions to Section 2 of Criminal Code new “fitness” standard: -Person is UNFIT to stand trial if: -person has mental disorder -disorder interferes with ability to conduct defence. -THREE CRITERIA (OR “ELEMENTS”): -unable (b/c of mental disorder) to: 1. understand nature and object of proceedings; 2. understand possible consequences; 3. communicate with counsel Three other things (in section 2): -fitness assumed unless unfitness is shown “on balance of probabilities” (lower standard than “beyond reasonable doubt”- in that case it is a much HIGHER standard) (think 51%- a little bit more probabable than fit. We do not want to try people who cannot be tried.) -party raising issue has burden of proving unfitness; -the court determines whether burden is met (whether accused is “fit” or “unfit”) -the judge will use evidence to determine whether the individual is fit or unfit (the jury may also be involved) but it seems that the judge mostly decides if they are fit or unfit. If the jury is involved – can the same jury be involved in the hearing? D. Assessing Fitness to Stand Trial 1. Who can make an assessment? -prior to 2005, only “medical doctors” can provide assessments to courts (don’t have to be “experts” in mental disorders) -in 2005, Section 2 expanded to include “other qualified professionals” (include psychologists) 2. Another role of psychologists: -developing the tests that are used to assess fitness 3. How is fitness assessed? -show that persona has mental disorder, AND -disorder interferes with 3 criteria in section 2 Fitness Interview Test – Revised (FIT-R) (revised because after 2005 the rules changed) -HAS THREE SECTIONS: > Nature and object of proceedings. Includes: -Arrest process and specific charges; -Role of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and jury; -Court procedure (ex: can disagree with witnesses who testify against him/her) > Consequences of proceedings. Includes, ex: -range and nature of penalties (ex being sent to prison; eligibility for parole) > Abilitiy to communicate with counsel, ex: -can communicate facts of case to lawyers -can plan (and assist with) legal defence strategy -can testify (if required) -can manage courtroom behaviour NOTE: FIT-R does NOT assess mental disorders (other tests are used, ex: DSM-IV) E. What happens after assessment? -assessment report is submitted to court -court makes its own judgement: o if fit to stand trial, proceedings continue accused can be detained in custody if reason to believe he/she might become “unfit” o if unfit, proceedings are temporarily stopped Goal: Restore fitness (using “treatment”) -In Canada, usual treatment was medication to control mental disorder (esp pre-2005) -Since 2005, psychological treatments are more common to achieve criteria of fitness Part 2: Mental State at the time of the Offence “I may appeal to all who hear me, whether there are any causes more difficult as when insanity becomes the subject of legal consideration and judgement” -R. v. Hadfield, 1800 A. What does “guilty” mean? Two Elements: 1. A “wrongful deed” (actus reus); 2. Criminal (or “evil) intent (mens rea) a “guilty mind” B. Legal Standards for determining absence of guilty mind -1700’s: the “wild beast” STANDARD -totally deprived of understanding; no more than a … wild beast” [R. v. Arnold, 1724] -1736: Lord Hale – level of understanding less than a normal 14 year old -1800s: Two important cases: 1. R. v. Hadfield: (1800) -Hadfield attempts to shoot King George III o
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2990A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.