Forensic application of social sciences
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He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. … And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. Friedrich Nietzsche Forensic Psychology FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY is the application of psychological knowledge, theory and skills to the understanding and functioning of the legal and criminal justice system. encompasses psychology and the law, the psychology of police and policing, victim services, addiction services and family services. Methods and education different from psychiatry MD vs. PhD, psychological tests, narcoanalysis and hypnosis Forensic Psychology Hugo Munsterburg (1908) – realized the potential of psychological theory to criminal law This later developed into research strategies assessing the accuracy of eyewitnesses What are the problems associated with eyewitness testimony? Influenced by: Beliefs Motives Stress Environmental factors Expectancy Stereotypes Eyewitness Testimony Problems stem from two sources Human processing system Procedures used by law enforcement to obtain eyewitnesses E.g., wording of questions, induced bias, confidence malleability, weapon focus, and the forgetting curve Eyewitness Testimony Even with this research, courts were reluctant to accept eyewitness accounts as unreliable That is, until the advent of DNA evidence So now, psychological research (started so long ago) is helping change modern criminalistics Forensic Psychology Assessment Untruthfulness by inmates or suspects (not patients) Malingering Forensic Psychology Assessment A quantitative approach of evaluating: Personality Psychopathology Mental functioning Reduce subjectivity (Daubert ruling) Forensic Psychology Assessment Projective tests Rorschach Thematic Apperception Test California Psychological Inventory Psychopathy Checklist The assessment and treatment of mentally abnormal offenders, as well as the legal aspects of psychiatry. This includes knowledge of the law relating to ordinary psychiatric practice, civil law and issues of criminal responsibility. Forensic Psychiatry Isaac Ray (1838) Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity Influenced judges and others in criminal cases Changes in laws (NG by reason of insanity) led to the psychiatrist as expert witness Forensic Psychiatry 3 main subsections: Criminal Competency (to stand trial), legal insanity, treatment Civil Injury, domestic relations, competency (will) Administrative Confidentiality, privacy issues, competency (professional) Psychiatrists assess mental state : In the past (legal insanity) In the present (competency to stand trial) In the future (prediction of dangerousness) Assessment of competency Most states follow some form of the McNaughten rule, which states: “a person will be found not guilty by reason of insanity if at the time of the commission of the crime, the person was suffering from such mental infirmity or disease that he did not know the nature and quality of his action” The Hinckley Decision After the Hinckley decision, Congress adopted the Omnibus Crime Code for Insanity: “A person would be found not guilty by reason of insanity if at the time of the commission of the crime the defendant could not appreciate the criminality of his behavior” And the concept of Guilty, but mentally ill Modus Operandi vs. Signature Determine characteristics of the offender Develop post-offense behavior and apprehension plan Develop interview strategies Determine the ‘signature’ of the offender Modus Operandi Major Atcherly, of Scotland Yard in 1896, pioneered the use of MO 10 categories relating to an offender ’ s MO Classword (property) Entry Means Object taken Time Style Tale Pals Transport Trademark = Signature What is a killer’s signature? Psychological calling card Detectives are trained to look for the unusual A signature is a expression, an imprint that he/she leaves at the scene personal CONCLUSION So, an MO is an operation or method of committing a crime They may change slightly from crime to crime (adaptive) But a signature is a psychological component which does not change The ritual may evolve, but the theme persists
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