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examen 2 PSY
Terms in this set (62)
Justification defenses /An Excuse Defense
means that we are basically saying that what you did was really a good thing, so we are not going to punish you for it.
Defense of another person
But excuse defenses are based on the idea that people are sometimes weak and fallible, and we feel that it's unfair to hold them fully accountable
The Insanity Defense in American Law
The legal presumption is that the defendant was sane at the time of the offense.
It is the defendant's burden to prove insanity by a preponderance of the evidence.
This evidence must convince the decision-maker (jury) that there's at least a 51% chance of insanity.
This means that the defendant has to provide some kind of evidence of insanity.
is about whether the defendant has the ability right now to participate in the legal process.
But mental state right now at the time of trial is not important for the insanity defense. What matters is their mental state in the past, at the time of the offense.
Myths about the Insanity Defense
"Many or most defendants try to use the defense.
Most who try are successful, because clever criminals and their paid experts are able to fool juries.
People who are acquitted due to insanity are let loose on the streets shortly thereafter.
Insanity aquittees are extremely dangerous."
Legal definitions of insanity
Something seriously medically wrong with your mind
This medical problem is the cause of the criminal act
You didn't understand that what you were doing was morally wrong,
Or (sometimes) if you were incapable of controlling your behavior.
Different legal tests in different jurisdictions
All tests require a mental disease or defect
Mental disease must be something internal, typically psychosis, not something in the environment.
Mental disease never means personality disorder
Mental defect typically means intellectual disability
"Knowing" vs. "appreciating" wrongfulness
Volitional prong (self control) - varies by jurisdiction.
usually means intellectual disability.
The mental problem is not important unless it actually caused the criminal action.
Example - Andrea Yates
Drowned her five children in the bathtub in 2001.
means to reduce the severity of consequences for an action.
For example, to reduce the amount of prison time given for an individual's crime
the diminished capacity
to reduce severity of the crime of which you are guilty
means that what you did was justified.
A legal excuse
admits that what you did wrong, but argues that you should be excused from punishment anyway, out of compassion for human fallibility.
The Menendez trial
Lyle and Erik Menendez
Very wealthy family in secure neighborhood
Killed their parents with shotguns
Examples of Sentence Mitigation
Getting less prison time.
Getting probation instead of prison.
Getting ordered to some kind of treatment or education.
Getting life imprisonment instead of the death penalty.
Sentencing can vary depending on various factors such as
Previous criminal history
Psychological assessment in criminal sentencing 3 things
1. Assessment of culpability
2. Risk assessment
3. Assessment of treatment needs
Assessment of culpability
Looking at the offense and the offender
Similar to factors examined for insanity defense, but the legal door is open much wider to consider other, less severe problems
Duress, or other peer influences
Mental disorders that don't meet insanity criteria
Assessment of risk
Look at factors that make future crime more likely
Look at the potential severity of that crime
Look at strengths in the offender that make future crime less likely
Look at interventions that may reduce risk level
The Ethics of Psychology Involvement in Capital Cases
Psychologists, like other medical practitioners, have an obligation to "do no harm."
Some psychologists refused to be involved in death penalty cases for this reason
Under the rules of ethics for psychologists, they are allowed to conduct these evaluations, but they can choose not to.
A "two-edged sword" of mitigation evidence
Even though it may seem like a nice sentiment to do an assessment of only mitigating and not aggravating or risk factors, the two are sometimes hard to separate.
The same psychological evidence that can make a person seem less culpable can also make them seem more dangerous.
impulse control problems due to brain damage.
Or severe trauma history that caused serious problems with aggression.
Risk vs. Culpability
Intuitively, more serious crimes inspire more fear and more desire for retribution. This can lead to the conclusion that the person is not only more culpable but also more dangerous.
In other words, the layperson intuitively assumes that the worse your crime was, the more likely you are to do another crime.
Risk assessment involves looking at different risk factors, which are variables known to predict the behavior.
Static vs. Dynamic risk factors
Static - fixed. For example, past history of school problems
Dynamic - changes over time. For example, attitudes
Unstructured clinical judgment
This means to examine the person clinically and just form general impressions about whether or not you think they are dangerous.
We tend to over-estimate how likely people are to be violent.
Two types of error:
Incorrectly saying the person will be violent (false positive) is mathematically the most likely error (because violence is rare). And also you can't be proven wrong if you kept them locked up to "prevent" their violence.
But incorrectly saying the person won't be violent (false negative) is what gets your case in the news in a bad way.
Structured Clinical Judgment
Means you look only at a pre-established list of risk factors (already chosen from the research)
Then, once you have counted up all the risk factors, it is up to you to decide how heavily to weigh each one.
It is still up to you to make a clinical judgment of whether someone is high risk.
This method works pretty good. But it gives you no basis for quantifying a percentage of how likely it is that someone will re-offend.
Stable vs acute
Acute: cabia rápido
Stable: es que tarda en cambiar
Actuarial Assessment Tools
A checklist of some risk factors -> total score
An algorithm (mathematical equation) tells you what the person's chance for committing another crime is. Will give you a result like "This person's score falls in Group Six. Of the men in Group 6, 25% were arrested for another violent crime within five years, and 36% within ten years, once they were released."
Risk manegment plan
que vas hacer para que baje los niveles de riesgo
What level of security is appropriate?
Can this person have an increase in freedom?
What kind of supervision would decrease their risk?
What kind of treatment would decrease their risk?
Are they able to benefit from that treatment?
In what circumstances should we take away his privileges or otherwise take action?
How fast can we move things along? How long should we wait before granting another increase in freedom?
The "Actuarial vs. Structured Clinical" Controversy
Dr. Flower's view: To some extent this debate is silly. The two methods answer very different questions and are often not in conflict.
Actuarial for quantifying how likely future crime is.
Structured clinical for planning risk management:
How to see problems coming for this individual.
What interventions to minimize risk
What to focus on in treatment
Sources of information for filling out the risk assessment tools
Clinical interview of person
Review of records (rap sheet, prison records, hospital records, etc). VERY IMPORTANT
Low intelligence itself is not really a risk factor for crime, but can make it less likely that someone's risk will improve with treatment.
Active mental illness
Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R)
Limits of existing risk tools
Focused on measuring likelihood of future crime.
Don't tell us as much about the potential severity - we have to just look at past pattern of behavior. And that only works when there is a past pattern to look at.
Don't tell us as much about immanence - how soon are we talking here?
Risk to Self
The common practice of assessing risk of suicide is not very scientific:
Look for past history
Look for suicidal ideation, plan, intent
If there are suicidal thoughts, common practice is to have the person contract for safety
Duty To Warn / Duty To Protect
Threats to Others
Many states have court cases or statutes requiring health providers to breach confidentiality and take other steps when a patient threatens to harm a 3rd party.
"Extension of law enforcement"
Is it a "threat" to admit that you had fantasized about something?
Reinforces the myth that the mentally ill are uniquely dangerous.
te dicen que le digas que piensas y te escuchan que tuviste pensamientos de matar a alguien y llaman a la policía
es de que no puede ser llevado a curte por que tiene demasiadas cosas que no lo pueden poner estable
- If a person is unable to take care of herself in specific ways, a court might make a finding of incompetence in that area, and appoint a person to be her guardian for those issues
This is a system that makes it easier for employees to obtain money damages for injuries suffered on the job, without all of the formal process of suing their employers.
exaggerate or feign illness in order to escape duty or work.
Child Custody in Divorce
The legal standard is "the best interests of the child"
No longer a presumption that little kids should always be with mom (no "tender years" doctrine)
There is a strong presumption in favor of shared legal custody, although one parent may be given sole physical custody.
Under a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children are entitled to appropriate education in the least restrictive environment.
Fact witnesses generally cannot
cannot testify about facts that someone else supposedly perceived and them told them about (this is called hearsay).
The Daubert rule:
Must have a scientific basis for your methods. Can usually consider evidence that would be inadmissible (e.g. hearsay) in drawing your conclusions, as long as your overall methodology is scientifically valid.
Must be relevant to the facts so that it will help the "trier of fact" (jury or judge) decide issues of fact.
qualification de ser un experto
Voir dire: Don't get defensive when your credentials are challenged.
es la data que conseguiste y eso
Don't become argumentative when your methods or conclusions are challenged on cross examination
The "God only knows" trick: Ask about some new or obscure research that the witness is not familiar with, or ask some question that has no clear answer (e.g. "What really causes schizophrenia?")
The goal here is to get an "I dunno" sort of answer and make the expert look uninformed.
you are supposed to actively seek out data that contradicts your conclusions
"Yes / No" Questioning
El si o no es para tratar de joderte en el futuro por que ya dijiste si o no
both conscious and unconscious, reflecting traditional and unexamined habits of thought, keeps up barriers that must come down if equal opportunity and nondiscrimination are ever genuinely to become the country's law and practice.
is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often as a cause or result of holding onto one's preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information.
are made of "implicit schema," or sets of beliefs that are not consciously represented in the mind but which still influence how the brain makes decisions.
rely on examples that first come to your mind when you are understanding a concept, even if that example is not a representative one.
Sort of akin to the use of prototypes or stereotypes in thinking.
E.g. Rating a patient on a Psychopathy Checklist trait based on your memory of the "typical psychopath patient" rather than the actual item description.
Tendency to look for and notice things that confirm what you already believe, and to fail to consider facts that do not support your belief. The avoidance of cognitive dissonance.
Fundamental Attribution Error
When good things happen: other people were lucky, I am virtuous
When bad things happen: other people were unvirtuous, I am unlucky
- Tendency to favor one's in-group. Tribalism. Seeing one's own group as superior. Giving more resources to preferred group. Seen as a both a social phenomenon and as a way of bolstering individual self esteem.
Race bias in criminal sentencing
Tendency to take less risk than would be rational. A method of coping with uncertainty by taking a smaller benefit than taking a risk to get a bigger benefit.
Dunning Kruger Bias
Low ability people don't realize they are low ability. (High ability people underestimate their ability.)
People don't know enough to realize that they don't know what they don't know.
The demand characteristics of certain roles can further encourage some of these normal cognitive biases.
Other related biases:
The "don't piss off the person who's paying me" bias
The "I have to work with these people every day" bias
Dusky: The legal standard for competency to stand trial
Sufficient factual understanding of the legal process before you
2. Sufficient rational understanding of that legal process
3. Sufficient ability to assist in your defense
The person can be confined to a psychiatric hospital as a civil patient until they no longer present an immediate danger to self or others.
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