Textbook Notes (369,099)
Canada (162,378)
Psychology (9,699)
PSYC39H3 (201)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8 notes

18 Pages
135 Views

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum

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Description
Chapter 8- Role of mental illness in court Fitness to stand trial- Basic idea: fundamental justice People with mental disorders are cognitively and emotionally impaired They may be unable to effectively participate in a legal defense They may therefore be found guilty even if they are innocent. Fitness to stand trial: legal criteria 1. Presumption of Fitness unless demonstrated otherwise 2. Onus of proof is on the party raising the issue 3. Level of proof for Fitness is balance of probabilities Legal criteria: standards of proof In legal terms, there are four basic levels of proof required for decisions appropriate to different contexts 1. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Application: Criminal Conviction Probability ~ 95 % and up 2. Clear and Convincing Evidence Application: Important Non-Criminal Decisions Probability ~ 75% to 94% (or above) 3. Preponderance of the Evidence Application: Probability ~ 65% to 74% (or above) 4. Balance of Probabilities Application: Probability ~ 51% or above Taylor criteria: Canadian standard represents a very basic factual understanding of the issues 1. Unable on account of a Mental Disorder to: This is the first step that requires a mental health expert; www.notesolution.com Only a mental health expert (including psychologists) can diagnose a mental disorder, absent which Fitness is not an issue. 2. Understand nature & object of the proceedings These relate to questions about the roles of the judge, crown attorney, defense attorney, witnesses, police, meaning of an oath, to establish a finding of guilt or innocence. 3. Understand possible consequences of proceedings Jailprison if guilty, Hospitalization if NCRMD, Freedom if innocent, probation (if applicable), Diversion if applicable (minor crime with negligible risk for future physical or psychological harm to society along with need and plans for treatment). 4. Communicate with counsel Often inferred by mental health professional Often best answered by attorney Presumptions in Canadas legal system In English-Canadian law, two elements that must be present for criminal guilt to be established Actus reus: a wrongful deed Mens rea: criminal intent Fitness to stand trial Basic idea: fundamental justice People with mental disorders are cognitively and emotionally impaired They may be unable to effectively participate in a legal defense They may therefore be found guilty even if they are innocent. Unfit to stand trial: refers to an inability to conduct a defense at any stage of the proceedings on account of a persons mental disorder. Eg: a defendant may be found unfit to stand trial if he or she is experiencing an episode of schizophrenia and lacks the ability to understand the situation and tell the lawyer the facts of the case www.notesolution.com
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