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Criminal Psychology Chapter 5 Insanity and Competency Talbot Kellogg Community College.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Psychology Chapter 5 Insanity and Competency Talbot Kellogg Community College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminal Psychology Chapter 5 Insanity and Competency Talbot Kellogg Community College

2 Insanity Insanity is a legal term. Insanity is a legal term. To be determined by the triers of truth. To be determined by the triers of truth. The legal definition may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The legal definition may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. An assessment for insanity attempts to evaluate the person’s mental state at the time of the offense. An assessment for insanity attempts to evaluate the person’s mental state at the time of the offense.

3 Insanity v. Psychosis Psychosis – A lack of contact with reality. It may include both hallucinations and delusions. Can one be psychotic and not insane? John Hinckley, 1981 Theodore Kaczynski, 1998 John Salvi Mens Rea (Guilty Mind) Guilt requires not only an illegal act but also the state of mind reflecting one’s awareness of the act’s implications.

4 NGRI M’Naghten Rule (Cognitive Test of Insanity) M’Naghten Rule (Cognitive Test of Insanity) 1. The defendant was suffering from a defect of reason from a disease of the mind. 2. As a result, the defendant did not know the nature and quality of the act he was doing. 3. As a result, the defendant did not know that what he was doing was wrong. Problems Problems The volitional aspect of insanity. “I knew it was wrong, but God told me to do it so I had to!” The volitional aspect of insanity. “I knew it was wrong, but God told me to do it so I had to!” Irresistible Impulse Exemption. Irresistible Impulse Exemption.

5 NGRI Results of an NGRI determination. Results of an NGRI determination. Psychiatric hospital Psychiatric hospital Jail Jail Prison Prison Length of incarceration or admission? Length of incarceration or admission?

6 NGRI Results of an NGRI determination. Results of an NGRI determination. Psychiatric hospital Psychiatric hospital Jail Jail Prison Prison Length of incarceration or admission? Length of incarceration or admission?

7 NGRI Results of an NGRI determination. Results of an NGRI determination. Psychiatric hospital Psychiatric hospital Jail Jail Prison Prison Length of incarceration or admission? Length of incarceration or admission? As long as they, in the judgment of the courts, believe the person continues to display the presence of serious psychiatric disorders. As long as they, in the judgment of the courts, believe the person continues to display the presence of serious psychiatric disorders.

8 Guilty But Mentally ILL (GBMI) Indicates the presence of mental illness and the presence of mens rea. Unlike NGRI (a defense), GBMI is a verdict. How might this occur? The results of such a verdict? Hospital Prison Hospital Prison

9 Case Example An individual with schizophrenia is currently receiving both psychiatric and intensive outpatient social psychological treatment. In addition, he is living in an Adult Foster Care home. Although demonstrating no positive symptoms of the illness, he does exhibit negative symptoms. Crime: The individual walks into a convenience store near the AFC. He holds his finger in his coat and points it at the young girl stating, “I need you to give me a carton of cigarettes.” The counter girl asks if he is going to pay for them and making the finger in his coat pocket more obvious, asks “I do not need to pay for them, do I?” The clerk answers “no” and the man leaves.

10 Assessing Sanity Concerns for the Psychologist Concerns for the Psychologist The other side is likely to have their own experts (outside of states like Michigan). The other side is likely to have their own experts (outside of states like Michigan). In some jurisdictions, the expert witness cannot provide specific opinions on that specific case and can only answer general questions. In some jurisdictions, the expert witness cannot provide specific opinions on that specific case and can only answer general questions. Believing that if a behavior is atypical, it must be pathological. (Jeffrey Dahmer) Believing that if a behavior is atypical, it must be pathological. (Jeffrey Dahmer)

11 Jeffrey Dahmer (1992) Killed and dismembered at least 17 young men over a 10 year period. Some bodies cannibalized/ dismembered and some were mummified in order to remain companions. Use of alcohol prior to murders. At times, years between murders. 6 expert witnesses. “If this isn’t mental illness, I don’t know what is.” Dr. Fred S. Berlin

12 Assessing Sanity Concerns for the Psychologist Concerns for the Psychologist The other side is likely to have their own experts (outside of states like Michigan). The other side is likely to have their own experts (outside of states like Michigan). In some jurisdictions, the expert witness cannot provide specific opinions on that specific case and can only answer general questions. In some jurisdictions, the expert witness cannot provide specific opinions on that specific case and can only answer general questions. Believing that if a behavior is atypical, it must be pathological. (Jeffrey Dahmer) Believing that if a behavior is atypical, it must be pathological. (Jeffrey Dahmer) Likely to face a stiff and critical cross-examination. Likely to face a stiff and critical cross-examination. The length of time since the offense occurred. The length of time since the offense occurred. Personal Biases. Personal Biases. Limiting themselves to the boundaries of their license. Limiting themselves to the boundaries of their license. Ultimate issue or Ultimate opinion testimony Ultimate issue or Ultimate opinion testimony Federal Rule of Evidence 704(b) Federal Rule of Evidence 704(b) No expert witness testifying with respect to the mental state of condition of the defendant in a criminal case may state an opinion or inference as to whether the defendant did or did not have the mental state or condition constituting an element of the crime charged or of the defense thereto. Such ultimate issues are matters for the trier of the fact alone.

13 Ultimate Issue The final question which must be determined by the court. The final question which must be determined by the court. Guilt v. innocence. Guilt v. innocence. Sanity v. insanity. Sanity v. insanity.

14 Assessing Sanity Concerns for the Psychologist Concerns for the Psychologist The other side is likely to have their own experts (outside of states like Michigan). The other side is likely to have their own experts (outside of states like Michigan). In some jurisdictions, the expert witness cannot provide specific opinions on that specific case and can only answer general questions. In some jurisdictions, the expert witness cannot provide specific opinions on that specific case and can only answer general questions. Believing that if a behavior is atypical, it must be pathological. (Jeffrey Dahmer) Believing that if a behavior is atypical, it must be pathological. (Jeffrey Dahmer) Likely to face a stiff and critical cross-examination. Likely to face a stiff and critical cross-examination. The length of time since the offense occurred. The length of time since the offense occurred. Personal Biases. Personal Biases. Limiting themselves to the boundaries of their license. Limiting themselves to the boundaries of their license. Ultimate issue or Ultimate opinion testimony Ultimate issue or Ultimate opinion testimony Federal Rule of Evidence 704(b) Federal Rule of Evidence 704(b) No expert witness testifying with respect to the mental state of condition of the defendant in a criminal case may state an opinion or inference as to whether the defendant did or did not have the mental state or condition constituting an element of the crime charged or of the defense thereto. Such ultimate issues are matters for the trier of the fact alone. Malinguering Malinguering

15 Malingering DSM – IV – TR This term applies to individuals who intentionally pretend to have symptoms of mental or physical illness to achieve financial or other gain or to avoid criminal conviction or unwanted duty. They may also malinger to facilitate escape from captivity or incarceration. This term applies to individuals who intentionally pretend to have symptoms of mental or physical illness to achieve financial or other gain or to avoid criminal conviction or unwanted duty. They may also malinger to facilitate escape from captivity or incarceration.symptoms mentalsymptoms mental

16 Malingering At arrest or commission of the crime. At arrest or commission of the crime. Influence the issue of competency. Influence the issue of competency. Influence the issue of sanity. Influence the issue of sanity. Influence the issue of environment/holding. Influence the issue of environment/holding. Influence the issue of sentencing. Influence the issue of sentencing.

17 Assessing Competency A person’s ability to understand the court’s proceedings, the nature of the charges against them & their ability to assist in their own defense. A person’s ability to understand the court’s proceedings, the nature of the charges against them & their ability to assist in their own defense. Competency to plead guilty. Competency to plead guilty. Competency to stand trial. Competency to stand trial. Use of competency screening tests. Use of competency screening tests. CST, Competency Assessment Instrument, Georgia Court Competency Test (GCCT), CAST - MR. CST, Competency Assessment Instrument, Georgia Court Competency Test (GCCT), CAST - MR.

18 Competency Screening Test When I go to court the lawyer will… The way a court trial is decided… When they say a man is innocent until proven guilty… When I think of being sent to prison, I … Scored 2 pts (competent), 1 pt (marginally competent, O pts (not competent). Score below 20 indicates the need of a more comprehensive evaluation.

19 Assessing Competency A person’s ability to understand the court’s proceedings, the nature of the charges against them & their ability to assist in their own defense. A person’s ability to understand the court’s proceedings, the nature of the charges against them & their ability to assist in their own defense. Competency to plead guilty. Competency to plead guilty. Competency to stand trial. Competency to stand trial. Use of competency screening tests. Use of competency screening tests. CST, Competency Assessment Instrument, Georgia Court Competency Test (GCCT), CAST - MR. CST, Competency Assessment Instrument, Georgia Court Competency Test (GCCT), CAST - MR.

20 Mental Retardation DSM – IV – TR criteria for MR. DSM – IV – TR criteria for MR. A. Significantly subaverage intellectual functioning: an IQ of approximately 70 or below on an individually administered IQ test (for infants, a clinical judgment of significantly subaverage intellectual functioning). A. Significantly subaverage intellectual functioning: an IQ of approximately 70 or below on an individually administered IQ test (for infants, a clinical judgment of significantly subaverage intellectual functioning). B. Concurrent deficits or impairments in present adaptive functioning (i.e., the person's effectiveness in meeting the standards expected for his or her age by his or her cultural group) in at least two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety. B. Concurrent deficits or impairments in present adaptive functioning (i.e., the person's effectiveness in meeting the standards expected for his or her age by his or her cultural group) in at least two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety. C. The onset is before age 18 years. C. The onset is before age 18 years. Code based on degree of severity reflecting level of intellectual impairment: Code based on degree of severity reflecting level of intellectual impairment: 317 Mild Mental Retardation: IQ level to approximately Mild Mental Retardation: IQ level to approximately Moderate Mental Retardation: IQ level to Moderate Mental Retardation: IQ level to Severe Mental Retardation: IQ level to Severe Mental Retardation: IQ level to Profound Mental Retardation: IQ level below 20 or Mental Retardation, Severity Unspecified: when there is strong presumption of Mental Retardation but the person's intelligence is untestable by standard tests Profound Mental Retardation: IQ level below 20 or Mental Retardation, Severity Unspecified: when there is strong presumption of Mental Retardation but the person's intelligence is untestable by standard tests


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