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Psychology & Criminal Justice: Defenses in Criminal Law By: Steve Christiansen.

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Presentation on theme: "Psychology & Criminal Justice: Defenses in Criminal Law By: Steve Christiansen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychology & Criminal Justice: Defenses in Criminal Law By: Steve Christiansen

2 Topics Basic elements of crime Basic elements of crime Infancy Infancy Intoxication Intoxication Duress Duress Self Defense Self Defense Necessity Entrapment Insanity Death penalty

3 Basic Elements of a Crime Actus Reus-guilty act Actus Reus-guilty act Mens Rea-intent Mens Rea-intent Fusion/Concurrence –act and intent come together at the same time. Fusion/Concurrence –act and intent come together at the same time. Exception is criminal negligence-a deviation from a standard of care a reasonable person would exerciseException is criminal negligence-a deviation from a standard of care a reasonable person would exercise

4 INFANCY A state of being young A state of being young In most states a child under 7 years old can not be held liable for a crime. Why? In most states a child under 7 years old can not be held liable for a crime. Why? Age 8 to majority who deals with law violators? Age 8 to majority who deals with law violators?

5 Intoxication Defense Voluntary-is not a true defense but is used at times to reduce culpability. Voluntary-is not a true defense but is used at times to reduce culpability. Involuntary-forced to ingest or is injected with an intoxicating substance or is unaware the substance contains drugs or alcohol. ***Could also be a defense for drug interactions and diabetic insulin shock. Involuntary-forced to ingest or is injected with an intoxicating substance or is unaware the substance contains drugs or alcohol. ***Could also be a defense for drug interactions and diabetic insulin shock.

6 Duress/Coercion A person is forced to commit an act they would otherwise not perform. A person is forced to commit an act they would otherwise not perform. Conditions:Conditions: Threat must be serious bodily harm/death Threat must be serious bodily harm/death Harm threatened must be immediate & inescapable. Harm threatened must be immediate & inescapable.

7 Self Defense A person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to protect himself/herself and others. A person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to protect himself/herself and others. Deadly force is only allowed if there is a reasonable belief that imminent death or bodily harm will otherwise result. Deadly force is only allowed if there is a reasonable belief that imminent death or bodily harm will otherwise result. *Can not be used to defend property. *Can not be used to defend property. ***The immediacy has been waived in some DV cases. (Bobbitt Interview) ***The immediacy has been waived in some DV cases. (Bobbitt Interview)Bobbitt InterviewBobbitt Interview

8 Necessity Necessity is justifiable if the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is great than that sought to be prevented. Necessity is justifiable if the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is great than that sought to be prevented. Either break the law or something worse will happen. Either break the law or something worse will happen. Examples? Examples? ***Is not allowable for murder.***Is not allowable for murder.

9 Entrapment Entrapment can be used if a person is induced to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. Entrapment can be used if a person is induced to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. Opportunity to commit crimeInducing a person

10 INSANITY Insanity is a legal term, not listed in DSM-IV-tr. Insanity is a legal term, not listed in DSM-IV-tr. M’Naghten Rule-at the time of committing the act, the accused was unable to distinguish right from wrong. Also called “right and wrong” test. M’Naghten Rule-at the time of committing the act, the accused was unable to distinguish right from wrong. Also called “right and wrong” test. Over half the states use the M’Naghten Rule. Over half the states use the M’Naghten Rule.

11 Substantial Capacity Test The defendant lacks “substantial capacity” to either “appreciate the wrongfulness” of his/her conduct or conform to that conduct. The defendant lacks “substantial capacity” to either “appreciate the wrongfulness” of his/her conduct or conform to that conduct. The other states use this test including the United States Federal Government. The other states use this test including the United States Federal Government.

12 IRRESISTABLE IMPULSE A lesser defense of insanity. A lesser defense of insanity. The defendant knew right from wrong but was irresistibly impelled to commit the act. The defendant knew right from wrong but was irresistibly impelled to commit the act. How could you be impelled? How could you be impelled?

13 CASE STUDY WHO IS THIS MAN? Interview

14 DAHMER’S VICTIMS Jun Stephen Hicks Jun Stephen Hicks Sep Steven Toumi Sep Steven Toumi Oct Jamie Doxtator Oct Jamie Doxtator Mar Richard Guerrero Mar Richard Guerrero Feb Anthony Sears Feb Anthony Sears Jun Eddie Smith Jun Eddie Smith Jul Ricky Beeks Jul Ricky Beeks Sep Ernest Miller Sep Ernest Miller Sep David Thomas Sep David Thomas Feb Curtis Straughter Feb Curtis Straughter Apr Errol Lindsey Apr Errol Lindsey May Tony Hughes May Tony Hughes May Konerak Sinthasomphone May Konerak Sinthasomphone Jun Matt Turner Jun Matt Turner Jul Jeremiah Weinberger Jul Jeremiah Weinberger Jul Oliver Lacy Jul Oliver Lacy Jul Joseph Bradeholt Jul Joseph Bradeholt

15 JEFF DAHMER Was JEFFERY DAHMER insane? Was JEFFERY DAHMER insane? Does a sane person eat body parts of their victims? Does a sane person eat body parts of their victims? Apply the M’Naghten Rule. Apply the M’Naghten Rule.

16 CASE STUDY WHO IS THIS PERSON? WHO IS THIS PERSON?

17 DAVID BERKOWITZ Known as “SON OF SAM” killer. Known as “SON OF SAM” killer. David Berkowitz's victims: David Berkowitz's victims: 29 July Donna Lauria, 1829 July Donna Lauria, Jan Christina Freund, 2630 Jan Christina Freund, 26 8 Mar Virginia Voskerichian, 198 Mar Virginia Voskerichian, Apr Alexander Esau, 20 & Valentina Suriani, 1817 Apr Alexander Esau, 20 & Valentina Suriani, July Stacy Moskowitz, 2031 July Stacy Moskowitz, 20 Sentenced to 365 years in prison. Sentenced to 365 years in prison.

18 PROBLEMS WITH INSANITY HARD TO DEFINE WHAT IS INSANE. HARD TO DEFINE WHAT IS INSANE. HARD TO KNOW A PERSON’S STATE OF MIND AT TIME OF ACT. HARD TO KNOW A PERSON’S STATE OF MIND AT TIME OF ACT. THE END. THE END.

19 Death Penalty-U.S. U.S. Government and 37 states practice the death penalty (also U.S. Military). U.S. Government and 37 states practice the death penalty (also U.S. Military). 13 states do not practice the death penalty. 13 states do not practice the death penalty. Current death row: Current death row: Male 3,291 (98.2%)Male 3,291 (98.2%) Female 59 (01.8%)Female 59 (01.8%)

20 Innocence Project 252 Inmates have been exonerated through DNA. 252 Inmates have been exonerated through DNA. Average time served before being exonerated is 13 years. Average time served before being exonerated is 13 years. Race of those released: Race of those released: 150 African Americans150 African Americans 74 Caucasians74 Caucasians 21 Latinos21 Latinos 2 Asian American2 Asian American 5 whose race is unknown5 whose race is unknown Source: The Innocence Project.Source: The Innocence Project.

21 People on Death Row Exonerated by Year

22 THANK YOU! Questions? Questions?


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